Insecure about Security: The recent passage of the “Protect America Act of 2007” expands the power of our government to Olympian heights. Both Republicans and Democrats alike passed a bill which gives a permission slip to the government to conduct warrantless wiretaps and other spying activities on its own people, without court approval, thereby possibly subrogating the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to our Constitution. To say the very least, this is problematic and requires considerable thought and care because it speaks to the very essence of who we are as a nation and to the very nature of what our republic has been about for over two hundred years.
This huge expansion of executive power, bestowed by the Congress and pushed down its throat by an unrelenting and often untrustworthy Executive branch, abridges the most cherished pieces and fundamental rights that have made our form of government the showpiece of the world. This would be unthinkable at nearly any other time.
This, however, is, indeed, no ordinary time. After 9/11 it is imaginable this would occur. More than imaginable it is now possible that the Executive branch of our government would be given unilateral and unprecedented power by Congress in view of the threat of another even more unthinkable attack. Those of us who value deeply that marvelous document our Founders so presciently constructed in 1789, are heart sick that the cornerstone of our culture is weakened. Like the stress fractures of the 35W Bridge in Minnesota, I sincerely hope our republic does not come crashing down and that this weakening of our very foundation is not perpetrated as a partisan political maneuver but is rather enacted for a very very good reason at this extraordinary time to ensure the safety of us all.