The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon … has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right. – James Madison
It’s hard to imagine a time in the American experience where the people and indeed the majority of our elected representatives were less aware of the inner workings of our government’s security apparatus. The recent revelations of virtually unchecked domestic surveillance, non-specific collection and storage of its citizens’ metadata and other oppressive tactics have raised eyebrows and piqued the concern of the American public, and rightly so! These matters should be openly discussed, their implications understood and their use closely monitored.
An enlightened people can protect against the rise of tyranny and oppression. Conversely, an uninformed, uneducated public makes them vulnerable to the series of oppressions which constrain, as history shows, to slavery. The fate of our Republic unquestionably hangs in the balance.
No other rights will matter if we continue to consent to the suspension of this right out of fear.