When I see news hysteria now about NSA government metadata collection and the seeming overreach of government power I shrug my shoulders because I have heard it before. It is surely bigger than my capacity to influence policy. Moreover, it is the government's Constitutional obligation not only to follow Constitutional due process clauses but also to protect its public and the nation from a life-ending attack. It would be negligence and even treason if it did not.
Once 9/11 happened, no matter the rationale behind the perpetrators' actions our nation’s past deeds have been done and cannot be undone. Think about it. Think about the massive twin towers in NYC on that sun-drenched day being attacked, falling and spewing their structural poisons. Think on the first responders who rushed to the scene walking up the towers’ stairs to their deaths in a vain attempt to save others who were walking down to try to escape their own. Think on many who incredulously and out of desperation jumped from the Towers’ Everest heights to the concrete below, bodies smashed to smithereens some of whose bones are buried forever into the stone age of history at the site of new concrete. Last but, of course, not least think about the 3000 dead from the greatest attack on the homeland in history.
It is easy to forget as time passes but we must revisit in our mind's eye the physical reality of what occurred when those towers fell on that blue-sky day. Think on the huge plumes of toxic dust inhaled by so many and think on those today who are still suffering trauma both physical and psychic, lung destruction, cancer or other related diseases and think of those who died since the attack and who will die because of it in present and future time.
The 9/11 attack was an action like no other. It changed our culture like fossil fuels are changing the climate, altering weather and the earth in our lifetime and, perhaps, even forever. In view of that, I do see why there is massive overreach by the national security state. At the same time, there is a collection of data which is seemingly irrelevant to the prosecution of the amorphous war on terror. We ought to take a breath from this latest national news media hysteria, not overreact but demand our government look at what is necessary and what is not to secure our person and our nation from a fatal onslaught.
There can be no doubt there are those who would, if they could, destroy us, our nation and our culture. If one is dead no number of civil liberties and Fourth Amendment search and seizure Constitutional protections will matter.
Our president is a constitutional law scholar. I believe the president through legal mandate and by any means legally necessary is implementing extensive national security measures, warrantless wiretaps and other seemingly extra-constitutional methods not because he loves to bathe in power but because he is trying to provide every safeguard available to ensure a horrific attack like the 9/11 attack or worse never happens again.