Domestic spying: On the 69th anniversary of D-Day, it was revealed that the National Security Agency is eavesdropping on the cellphone records of millions of Verizon customers, all to reinforce the ideal enshrined in the NSA’s middle name.
Though most of my military career was spent in the Army equivalent of the FBI, it now appears that requirements once drilled into every credentialed investigator — such as reasonable search and probable cause — apparently have been trashed.
With all those digital-data flows, maybe that is why the FBI never bothered to tell the Boston police about the travel habits of the Tsarnaev brothers — or their potential terrorism connections. The major difference between the Nazis and the jihadis? Back then, we knew who our enemy was.
We have badly overstepped the traditional boundaries of American civil liberties just as our citizens have forcibly been reminded that political limits exist for a reason. Lord Acton famously said, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The Obama administration rejoinder: “But absolute power without accountability is really neat.”
To win in 2014 and beyond, the Republicans will need to provide convincing alternatives on defense, foreign policy, immigration reform and restoring American competitiveness. Against all odds and most expectations, it appears that the electorate may be prepared to listen.
Col. Ken Allard, retired from the Army, is a military analyst and author on national security issues.