Privacy and the Fight Against Al Qaeda
by Bryan Cain
Al Qaeda was created and funded by the USA to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan..1 As a teenager I watched videos of Al Qaeda cutting innocent mens’ heads off. Those video images had eluded my memory until today when I was remembering that Al Qaeda flew their flag over a courthouse in Benghazi.2 The city where they killed our ambassador, Christopher Stevens, not long ago.
I don’t remember names or faces so I did a Google search that probably flagged me in at least 14 NSA databases. Daniel Pearl, a journalist for the illustrious Wall Street Journal, was the first one that came up.
Funny the NSA would come up in this article. Have you seen their data center in Utah?
The white dots are trucks. They are harvesting massive amount of data including wireless, internet, and credit card purchases. I stand with Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who got the Verizon scoop, when he says that the NSA snooping is “indiscriminate” and “sweeping.” 3 I do not think the searches fall in line with our constitutional right to privacy.
I have called my Senator, Dianne Feinstein, and my Representative, Brad Sherman, to relay this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”4 I believe that. Maybe not as strongly as he did, because he bought his liberty through bloodshed, but I do believe it.
The line I want to draw is between the NSA and the people they are fighting against. The NSA probably believe in that Benjamin Franklin quote to some degree, and we just disagree on the meaning of privacy. Al Qaeda Hirabists would probably not. I support the NSA in their fight, I do not support their practices.