Big lessons to be learned in America today.
As the majority of Americans, through either fear or ignorance, sat back during the Bush years and either quietly or patriotically accepted the loss of their personal freedoms, they were warned by the ranting few that the losses could be permanent. Personal freedoms cannot be placed on hold. Once surrendered they are at risk of being permanently lost.
Today Obama, invoked the state secrets act to prevent a court from reviewing the legality of the National Security Agency's warrant-less wiretapping program,
A San Fransisco court is trying to review documents relating to the NSA program that was expanded by the Bush Administration to include wiretapping of telephone conversations between US citizens. The case is following up on allegations made by a former AT&T employee, Mark Klein.
He revealed that AT&T allowed the agency to install network monitoring hardware to spy on American citizens. Public reports have also implicated that Verizon, MCI and Sprint also participated in the US government's eavesdropping efforts.
Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties. Unfortunately the new boss is the same as the old boss.
In Canada our telephone calls are probably not being routed through central servers and run through a database looking for key words and phrases, but like the Americans had with the Bush administration we certainly have a government that would try it if they could get away with it.
In Canada the governing party cannot yet make new laws without a majority of parliament approving them, but they can certainly get away with ignoring the existing laws of land, be it Kyoto, the gun registry, access to information, ordering the arrest of citizens in a foreign land, or any other issue that fits their current ideology.
Unfortunately like the Americans our next Canadian government, the one we will eventually elect to replace our current ideologues, will not necessarily roll back changes, or necessarily act any different in respect to the existing laws, regardless of what they now say in opposition.
Let enough of these changes to how we are governed go through and eventually we won't recognize where we are living, as I am sure many Americans are wondering today. So pay attention and be concerned when some blogger goes on a rant about some seemingly irrelevant policy change that our government is putting forth or some story he has pulled from the press.
Like this minor rant for instance.