The program is actually not the program I thought it was. Not even close,I think you are going to see people on both sides of the aisle pushing, wondering why not more data is part of the database that is used to protect our citizens.
— Sen. Bob Corker
By Adam Dick
United States Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) made news on Wednesday with his astounding comment that he is “shocked” by “how little data” the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting via the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program and with his advocacy that the program “needs to be ramped up hugely.”
Considering the vast scope of the spying program, Corker’s plea for yet more snooping appears to be a call for God-like omniscience. Indeed, Corker is all but calling for the U.S. government to seek the kind of all-seeing power Jesus described God as possessing when Jesus tells the disciples that God has numbered the individual hairs on a person’s head and knows when a sparrow falls to the ground.
In a video address, Ron Paul Institute advisory board member Andrew Napolitano spells out the great reach of the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program that Corker wants expanded. Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst at Fox News and a former judge, explains:
We now know that for the past 13 years the government of the United States of America has been capturing the content of every telephone call, every text message, every email, every monthly bank statement, every utility bill, and every credit card bill of everybody in the United States of America.
Napolitano further explains in his video address that the Constitution was written ”to prevent the government from being able to look at every word and every document and explore every one of our thoughts without getting a search warrant as required in the Constitution.” Yet, the US government has proceeded year-after-year as if it has the authority to exercise such God-like power, pointing to the Patriot Act as its legislative permission slip.
Desperate to keep and expand this power, politicians like Corker are scurrying to extend the provisions of the Patriot Act that give legal cover for the snooping and other extraconstitutional powers before those provisions’ June 1 expiration date. Once people gain God-like powers over others, they often do not choose to relinquish those powers readily. Instead, like Corker, they often seek to expand those powers ad infinitum.