Lawsuit against Obama administration a step to preserve the Constitution

March 6, 2014 — by Atirath Kosireddy

American journalist Chris Hedges wrote, “We live in a society where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

American journalist Chris Hedges wrote, “We live in a society where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

Hedges could not have been more right, especially with regard to the National Security Administration’s recent behavior. Heavily restricting the Second Amendment is harsh enough, but now it seems we have to fight for something as basic as the Fourth Amendment, our right to live without a pair of eyes always watching us.

Fortunately, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is taking a step in the right direction. He recently filed a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration in response to revelations about mass surveillance.

When former U.S. president Richard Nixon was found to have approved a cover-up that involved the tapping of phone lines in the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, he was essentially removed from office.

The Obama administration should be grateful that only a lawsuit has been filed against them, considering that instead of spying on the opposite political party, the NSA has spied on millions of Americans and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel without a warrant. This crime is easily just as unspeakable as the Watergate Scandal, if not worse.

When Obama was elected, Bush’s lack of respect for privacy only continued. The Patriot Act, introduced by Bush, laid down the groundwork for the NSA to commit such an atrocity.

People may think they are safer with mass data collection, but that is similar to saying that it is a good idea to fill the streets with soldiers to reduce crime.

Obama re-authorized the Patriot Act, and only now does he wish to make “reforms” to the NSA’s practices. These “reforms” state that the phone record database will be moved to a third party, public advocates will be assigned to the FISA court and the scope of numbers connected to a suspect's phone that an analyst can view will be narrowed.

It may now seem like with these written rules, the NSA will have learned, and will not need to face consequences. That is far from the truth. Having your private data searched without a warrant is like a police officer coming into your house without a warrant. The founding fathers explicitly outlawed these type of searches in the Constitution.

If the NSA has the ambition to break the Fourth Amendment, I have massive doubts about them actually following the new reforms that are planned for it.

This is a time when it is critical that we do our own thinking, rather than simply listening to CNN or Fox News. Bush, a Republican, put down the foundation for mass surveillance. People angrily voted for the opposite party and Obama was put into office.

If we are to keep our rights intact and keep American ideals alive, we must start by thinking about how much power we truly have. Both parties have contributed to the NSA’s excessive authority one way or the other.

With midterm elections coming up, we need to do our own thinking about what we look for in our new Senators, not whether they are Democratic or Republican. When the Republicans did something bad, the public immediately flocked to the Democrats. Now, many may consider voting Republican because of the NSA’s abuses.

However, what we need to realize is that violations to our Constitution will continue if we limit our options to two candidates.

Our government will know where it stands if we only take our vote seriously.