The news you're not supposed to know...

An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted Dec 18 2013, 7:25 AM Category: Commentary Source: Jacob G. Hornberger Print

A Government Without Spies

by Jacob G. Hornberger

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the NSA's previously super-secret surveillance scheme over the American people violates the U.S. Constitution, which sets forth the powers and restrictions on power that we the people have established for U.S. officials. Calling the NSA's surveillance scheme "almost Orwellian," Judge Richard Leon's ruling is an amazing one, especially given the long history of the federal judiciary's extreme deference to the national-security state, especially when the two magic words--"national security" are spoken. It is truly incredible that a U.S. District Judge has actually stepped forward and issued a major ruling against one of the three principal agencies of the national-security state. The fact that Leon was appointed by a Republican, George W. Bush, makes the ruling even more astounding.

While such a ruling is something that advocates of liberty and privacy should celebrate, it's important that Americans go to a higher level. Regardless of how the courts ultimately rule, as long as the NSA is permitted to remain in existence it will inevitably figure out new ways, including illegal ones, to spy on the American people and monitor their activities in the name of protecting "national security" and "keeping us safe." Equally important, as long as the NSA exists, Americans will have to live their lives under the assumption that it is spying on them, recording their telephone calls, and reading their mail. The only way to avoid that is to abolish, not rein in, the NSA.

Americans need to be asking themselves some fundamental questions. Is the NSA -- and, indeed, the entire Cold War-era national-security state apparatus -- compatible with the principles of a free society? Does the United States really need an NSA? Does America really need a government that spies on people?  What would life be like in the United States if the U.S. government wasn't spying on people?

The fact is that the NSA constitutes an extreme violation of the principles of a free society. Freedom necessarily entails a zone of privacy, one that is immune from the prying eyes of government officials. Freedom entails freely talking on the phone, corresponding by mail and email, and generally living one's life without concern that the government is recording people's calls, reading their mail, and following them around.

Would America fall into the ocean if the NSA were abolished? Would it fall victim to a violent takeover by communists, terrorists, drug dealers, Muslims, illegal aliens, or boogeymen?

Of course not. But in life under a national-security state, fear is the coin of the realm. National-security state officials have to keep people afraid, constantly afraid. In that way, they can scare people into supporting whatever they are doing to infringe upon their freedom and their privacy.

Keep in mind, after all, that the United States lived without an NSA for almost 200 years. Our American ancestors would never have tolerated such a totalitarian edifice to be grafted onto their constitutional order, which is why Judge Leon stated, "Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment" and that James Madison would be "aghast" at what the NSA has been doing.

In fact, it's vitally important that Americans recognize that the NSA, along with its two sister agencies in the national-security state apparatus -- the CIA and the military-industrial complex -- are inherent parts of any totalitarian regime. Show me one totalitarian regime that doesn't inculcate the citizenry with irrational fears and then spies on the citizenry in a purported quest to "keep them safe."

The NSA, like the rest of the national-security state, was brought into existence as a totalitarian method to fight the Cold War against Soviet totalitarianism, which, not surprisingly, also had its own national-security state apparatus. Well, the Cold War is over. It's time to raise our vision to a higher level -- one that involves more than just reforming or reining in the NSA. It's time to restore our fundamental, God-given rights to freedom and privacy. It's time to abolish the NSA, not reform it.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News' Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at and from Full Context. Send him email.

Latest Commentary
- The War on Drugs Was Born 100 Years Ago
- What America Wannabe?
- Judicial Deference to the Torturers
- Ross Ulbricht Should Be Freed in a Fair Trial
- Government Save Us From "Overpriced" Chinese Food
- I Love Loosies and the People Who Sell Them
- Obama's Plan for Better Policing: The Good, the Bad, and the Body Cameras
- Statism: The Most Dangerous Religion (feat. Larken Rose)

Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Dec 18 2013, 10:12 AM

82145 Nice Words !
Falling on deaf ears , unfortunately :-(
Judge Leon will probably be getting a visit from the men in black !

Posted: Dec 18 2013, 6:07 PM

99179 Applause!!!

It starts with one,
then one becomes 2,
then two then becomes 4,
...then 8,

I hope this Judge stays safe,
and shares his thoughts with his colleagues.

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

Florida Cop Gets Schooled in Law After Harassing Man for Playing Rap Song, "F**k tha Police" - 12/16Second Video Sheds New Light On Allegations Of Misconduct Involving Denver Police Officers - 12/16US Supreme Court Allows Traffic Stop Searches When No Law Violated - 12/16Police Using Social Media Posts to Determine "Threat Score" of Suspects - 12/16High Profile Witness In Alleged Excessive Force Case Records His Own Stop And Arrest - 12/16IRS Drops Its Asset Forfeiture Case Against Owner Of Small, Cash-Only Restaurant - 12/16Congress Proposes Bill to Address the Problem of Immunity for Killer Cops - 12/16Psychotic Vegas Cop Filmed Beating Man For Filming In Viral Video Queitly Hired By Another Dept. - 12/17

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat