I shared some nauseating and jaw-dropping examples of hypocrisy the other day, but the Obama Administration’s continuation (and expansion!) of Bush-style surveillance-state tactics surely must set some sort of record for double-talk.
Even by Washington standards.
So regardless of your views on the merits or demerits of collecting metadata, let’s enjoy some cartoons mocking the White House’s forked-tongue policies.
We’ll start with one from Jim McKee that doesn’t make a strong philosophical point, but I’m hokey enough that I liked the use of Santa Claus.
This next cartoon from Steve Kelley should make honest liberals cringe with embarrassment.
This Scott Stantis cartoon may be even better because it links Obama with Bush and Nixon. I knew they all shared a statist orientation on economic policy, but who knew they had the same affinity for monitoring other people’s communications?
But this second Jim McKee cartoon may be my favorite because it goes after the hypocritical statists directly. You can see why I’m glad that McKee’s work has come to my attention.
In closing, I suppose I should provide some initial thoughts on the more serious issue of whether the Obama Administration is improperly and needlessly invading our privacy.
If I understand correctly, the government did get judicial approval before collecting this data, so perhaps there’s nothing improper about this data-collection scheme.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a wise or good policy. Like most (if not all) libertarians, as well as other sensible people, I wonder whether the government will misuse the information being collected. If nothing else, the recent IRS scandals should make all of us very sensitive to that possibility.
But even if you assume that politicians and bureaucrats are angels, that still wouldn’t necessarily make this a good use of law enforcement resources. And that’s an empirical question.
I’m not qualified to give an answer, but I’m definitely in the need-to-be-convinced category. This policy reminds me of anti-money laundering laws, which also were put in place with the excuse that government would collect and analyze large amounts of data to help deter crime.
So put me in the skeptics camp. National defense is a legitimate function of government, and I fully realize that there are people out there who want to kill me and my family for no other reason that our freedoms, so I don’t automatically object to government actions in this area.
But I want their efforts to be concentrated and effective. And if our government is so big and bloated that we can’t monitor and stop known bad guys (like some of the 9-11 terrorists and at least one of the Tsarnaev brothers), then I don’t want to give the bureaucrats new powers without some sort of convincing argument that we’ll get positive results.