In an effort to continue the dialog on what we need to convey to our President, I posted this comment to the blog on Get FISA Right:
I look forward to the call today, during which I hope we will continue to advance the development of our Open Letter to the President.
I was heartened to view President Obama speaking before the press in China, side by side with President Hu; the President of the United States of America and the President of the People's Republic of China - conducting a joint press conference before the media - and this after having held a town hall with students from across China.
I am sure the intelligence community anticipated this change years ago and so when they heard the president say:
"Finally, as I did yesterday in Shanghai, I spoke to President Hu about America's bedrock beliefs that all men and women possess certain fundamental human rights. We do not believe these principles are unique to America, but rather they are universal rights and that they should be available to all peoples, to all ethnic and religious minorities. And our two countries agreed to continue to move this discussion forward in a human rights dialogue that is scheduled for early next year."
They were well prepared to accept the notion that these are universal rights and "they should be available to all peoples."
It is not our residency or our citizenship in America that bestows upon us the right to not be searched - without cause - by the government of America. No, that is a right that belongs to us as a member of the human family and it has been bestowed upon us - irrevocably - by our Creator. This right is mine through birth - not through citizenship in the United States of America. Now, citizenship in the United States of America provides me with the knowledge that I live in a republic that recognizes this right - and it harms America by acting as though this right is of a political, transitory nature as opposed to one that is eternal and unchanging. That would be taking a top shelf right and placing it on the bar; on which level is it more likely to be broken?
We need not make any change to this letter at all, but if liberals do not support the notion that the all people throughout the world are endowed with certain inalienable rights, then we certainly have no cause to wonder when conservatives choose to ignore that central, organizing principle of our Republic. Conservatives blather on and on about the "power of free markets"; we should seek to take as many of our arguments back to free people as we can. This is how conservatives have taken and tarnished the concept of freedom, so much so that they can pretend to argue for freedom, while arguing to imprison "terrorists" indefinitely.
Liberals must wrest the notion of freedom back from those who have little understanding of the word and we must do so under the auspices of increasing our security: a police state can never be free.