Independence Day: Restore the 4th

Restore the Fourth Amendment

The 4th of July seems like an apt time to consider the independence of America, most especially its citizens. At this particular moment in history we find ourselves confronted with objective proof that our government has cynically lied to us for a long time about the extent of its spying operations on innocent American citizens. That there is not a revolution in the streets like the one in Cairo, is an indictment of the complacency and obedience of the American people. If this was Greece or Chechnya, angry mobs would’ve already stormed Washington.

We’re faced with some serious fundamental issues here, people, one of which is the complete destruction of the Fourth Amendement. The Fourth Amendment reads as follows:


    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The massive spying program of data collection from American citizens that was revealed by Edward Snowden is in direct violation of that amendement. It’s time to be watchful and very mistrustful of our government officials. George Carlin once said he never believed anything the government told us. It’s time we fine tuned our bullshit detectors and realized that everything we’re told ain’t necessarily so. In fact, most of what they tell us is designed to keep us in line.

It is a painful realization in many ways. I’ve always loved my country and I still do. But the country is not the government nor its officials. The country is us, the citizens who work hard and pay taxes and listen in disbelief to the speeches and pronouncements of the mental midgets we elect to office.

Most painful of all is the legacy of Obama, our first African-American president. He has continued—even magnified—the policies of his shameful predecessor, the war criminal George Bush. (And perhaps worst of all, he hangs out with Bush!) Imagine him being party to the destruction of the last vestiges of personal privacy of American citizens, subverting the Fourth Amendment and habeas corpus, creating a police state of secret laws and secret courts that carry out secret trials.

The 4th of July is the celebration of our revolution, the overthrow of our subservience to an oppressive imperial power and the creation of an independent nation dedicated to personal freedom and democratic values. It is time we took a hard look the undemocratic, secretive surveillance state we have become and ask, is time once again for revolution?


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