Once more the fearmongers of the NSA and DNI, and a White House hooked on the utility of plenary surveillance of their friends and foes, rolled out an unsupportable defense of the indefensible ["House rejects plan to kill NSA data collection"].

“People with a stake in the program have come out with guns blazing against it,” the subheading reads. The bottom line here are the many billions of dollars in play and the mouth-watering possibilities for the blackmail, extortion or chilling of political enemies and other gadflies. The big boys with big toys and big delusions of grandeur are not about to let their obscenely unconstitutional and lucrative powers be taken away without an all-out offensive.

Were there threats or inducements directed at members of Congress to defeat the Amash amendment? We can only guess. However, the extremely close vote in the House and recent polling data show that Americans view NSA spy programs that sack the Fourth Amendment and chill the First Amendment as the real danger to our freedoms and way of life.

Dan Miles

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