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The issue of domestic surveillance is not principally about privacy, much as President Obama would like to define it that way. It is about a government that violates the Constitution in secret, then lies about it when challenged. Also remember that the federal government regards the person who revealed its chicanery as a criminal, even a traitor, to be sent to prison for espionage and treason. People in government who spy charge citizens with espionage. People in government who betray their own country, and its Constitution, charge others with treason.

Edward Snowden

We are not talking about a tradeoff between liberty and security here. We are talking about our Constitution. When we discovered government tortured people in secret in 2005 and 2006, we said, “If government can do that, it can do anything.” It has proven us correct. It has demonstrated that it does not regard constitutional limits on its power as limits at all. When the president says, “We welcome this debate,” what does he mean? He thinks he’s talking about privacy, but the more important question by far is whether our Constitution has any force. If it does not bind government, our life together as citizens of a republic has ended.

Government is not your friend, and it does not do things in secret for your benefit. It acts in secret for its own benefit, to protect its own power and privileges, and to commit crimes too brazen to commit in the open. Do not trust it, fellow citizens, do not trust it, for it does not trust you.

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