by Matthew Dugan
Widener University Political Science Major
What’s next on the executives list of ways to limit our rights in the name of national security? Under Bush we got the Patriot Act which allowed the government to tap the phones of suspected terrorists. Obama renewed this act by using an Autopen. Now under President Obama we have drone strikes on American citizens. He has completely ignored due process in the defense of national security, much to the worry of Democrats and Republicans. Senator Rand Paul, son of 3 time presidential nominee Ron Paul, has spoken out against Obama’s use of drones. He has been quoted saying that the use of drones on US citizens is opening “Pandora’s box” and is a slippery slope to something potentially much worse.
Republican leaders in Congress are taking a stand against the increasing use of these drones on US soil, not just for national security either. The EPA has proposed using unmanned drones to survey farms in order to ensure that they are adhering to clean water procedures. This over reach of government power is worrying congressional Republicans. And they should be worried. These proposals should be worrying any American who is concerned with their privacy. Years ago Democrats were very concerned with the Patriot Act. This is something far more intrusive and should receive more opposition from both sides. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination, and I dont believe for a second that Obama’s or the EPA’s intention is to spy on the American people or to erode our rights as citizens. However, this is a very slippery slope that could potentially lead to a severe decline of privacy in American society.
Just like the Patriot Act, we do not ever feel “disturbed”, or feel that our privacy is violated in any way, until it is pointed out. It is a freaky situation, but at the end of the day, we have nothing to fear and hide, and we are not effected by the governments “snooping”. I do not know anything about drones in the US, but I am assuming they are used for more than just terrorism.
Having said that, I do agree with a slow decrease in “privacy”. At what point is the security enough? At the same time, there have been a lot of recent shootings that we can hope will be stopped with government “spying”. I think the wort that could happen is it doesn’t not work, but there is always a bigger chance that massacres or terrorism could be stopped.