For Immediate Release: Monday, August 19, 2013
Democratic and Republican Votes Abuse Your Fourth Amendment Rights
Thanks to the brave and patriotic actions of whistleblower Edward Snowden, Americans now know that their Fourth Amendment rights have been blown out of the water; that the government has been routinely spying on millions of Americans.
Your telephone calls, emails, text messages, chat sessions, and Skype sessions are no longer private. The National Security Agency — the NSA — has put virtually every American under surveillance. You’re being watched, listened to, and tracked just about everywhere.
And it’s not just the NSA that is invading your privacy. Cameras, mounted on toll booths and in cities across America, enable government officials to know where you are and where you’ve been. Authorities can break into your home with a no-knock “sneak and peak” court order from a secret judge. The IRS and other government regulators can access your bank records without your knowledge or consent. And the government has authorized thousands of agents to look at your personal medical records. If Obamacare ever goes into effect, it will get even worse.
There aren’t too many places in America today where you can act or speak in complete privacy. Luckily, there’s one place in America where you’re not being watched. Where you’re free to do as you please without Big Brother eavesdropping on you. Where you can’t be punished for your actions. Where is this? The voting booth. The place where you can choose the president, U.S. senators, congressmen and women, and state and local officials.
In the privacy of the voting booth, you can cast your vote for the politicians who do right or the politicians who do wrong. The voting booth, where you can toss out of office every politician who voted for the Patriot Act, NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), or FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). The voting booth, where you have the power to shut down the NSA and end government surveillance of innocent Americans.
The unpatriotic and treasonous government spying going on today is not the function of a few officials abusing their power. The problem is not the abuse of power. The problem is the power to abuse. Take away the power, and no abuse is possible.
We can investigate the abuses of a few NSA officials, put them on trial, maybe even convict some of them. We can call for “reform,” or more “transparency.” We can call for kinder, gentler secret courts. But will that change anything?
As long as the Patriot Act, NDAA, and FISA remain on the books; as long as there are secret courts, and as long as the federal government spends $75 billion — every year — on 17 separate spy agencies, do you really believe they’re going to stop spying on Americans? If all we do is make a few minor reforms, how many more years will it take before another brave whistleblower steps forward to reveal that surveillance programs remain in full force?
Passing a law that violates your Fourth Amendment rights is — in and of itself — an abuse. There are no “abuses” of the NDAA — the NDAA is an abuse. There are no abuses of the Patriot Act — the Patriot Act is an abuse. Voting for the Patriot Act or NDAA is an abuse. Leaving them on the books is an abuse.
Every politician who voted for the Patriot Act, NDAA, CISPA, or FISA violated your Fourth Amendment rights, violated his or her oath of office to uphold the Constitution, and created the inevitable consequence of the massive surveillance programs we’re seeing today.
There’s one and only one way to stop this abuse: Repeal every law that violates your Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Dismantle, unplug, and end all unneeded spy agencies and secret courts.
How do we remove these laws and agencies? By refusing to vote for any politician who voted for them — or who in any way signals that they would vote to keep them on the books — and by voting for the candidates who expressly promise to repeal them.
When you vote for a candidate who votes for these laws, you’re sanctioning, condoning, and empowering the government to spy on innocent Americans. You’re giving politicians license to abuse.
Almost every Democrat and Republican in the U.S. House or Senate today has voted for FISA, the Patriot Act, or the NDAA. Despite tough talk of “reforming” laws or “investigating” abuses, they vote to keep abusive laws in place. They are the masters of abuse of the Fourth Amendment. Every vote they get drives one more nail into the coffin of your right to privacy and justice under the law.
Since the Libertarian Party was formed 42 years ago, it has been the only political party in America that has called for immediate, unconditional repeal of the laws that violate your Fourth Amendment rights. Libertarian candidates and the Libertarian platform have called for ending all electronic surveillance, ending all warrantless searches, and repealing the Patriot Act, NDAA, and FISA.
So take advantage of that sanctuary of your privacy where bugs don’t bug and drones don’t fly: the voting booth. Where you get to decide who and what should stay or go.
Cast your vote for the Fourth Amendment. Vote only for candidates who expressly promise to repeal the laws which abuse your Fourth Amendment rights.
Stand your ground. Vote for freedom and justice.
Click here to see which politicians have violated the 4th Amendment.