Friday, June 14, 2013
Peggy Noonan has a column in today’s Wall Street Journal that makes the point that domestic spying will eventually, if it has not already, lead to a paranoid nation where no one trusts anyone.
If—what Snowden says is substantially true, the surveillance state will in time encourage an air of subtle oppression, and encourage too a sense of paranoia that may in time—not next week, but in time, as the years unfold—loosen and disrupt the ties the people of America feel to our country. "They spy on you here and will abuse the information they get from spying on you here. I don't like 'here.'"
Following the IRS and NSA revelations, the Internet is filled with references to the Stasi, the notorious East German police that monitored the people in that wretched country.
If we are going to stop government agents from the IRS, the FBI, the EPA or any of the other government alphabet agencies from crossing the line from servant to master, we must find the will to make sure that those who transgress are dealt with harshly. Harsh as in jail time; not simply fired, allowed to resign or put on paid leave like Lois Lerner.
When we commit a crime, lie to government agents or fall afoul of the myriad laws that have been passed we find ourselves in the coils of the judicial system. Government employees appear to have no fear of this, hence Ms. Lerner’s obvious contempt for the members of congress that tried to ask her some questions. It is past time to bring back the concept that they work for us, not the other way around. It is past time to rein in the Ruling Class. The only way that is done is for punishment to be severe and public.