Russ Feingold Was Prescient on Domestic Spying

Another day. Another civil liberties violation by the Obama Administration.

The revelation that the government has been tracking our e-mails, photos, and videos from Facebook and YouTube and grabbing all sorts of our information from Google and Apple and Skype should concern us all, as should yesterday’s scandal about the NSA’s vast domestic surveillance.

We’re supposed to have a Fourth Amendment right to be “secure” in our “persons, houses, papers, and effects,” but we aren’t any more.

Not at all.

You can kiss the Fourth Amendment goodbye.

This is no accident. This was the predictable consequence of the USA Patriot Act.

In fact, Russ Feingold predicted it when he was the sole Senator to vote against the Patriot Act back in October 2001.

Here’s part of what he said on the Senate floor back then. “There is no doubt if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country where the … government is entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail communications…the government would probably discover and arrest more terrorists or would-be terrorists … But … that country wouldn’t be America.”

Well, it isn’t America anymore. It’s a different, much less free country.

And the only way we can get some of the old America back is by repealing the freedom-stealing provisions of the USA Patriot Act and prohibiting this widespread snooping on innocent citizens.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Stop the Trial of Bradley Manning.

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter