“To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.”—Anthony Burgess
The mainstream media has been running tons of coverage about the so-called “Nunes Memo Freakout,” much of it centered around how the memo has made Nunes the most hated man in Washington among Democrats. While this appears to be true, it is obvious that the Left despise Nunes for a very different reason than the Trump administration.
For Democrats and the liberal press, the Nunes revelation makes all of their nonsense about Russian meddling in the election look silly and myopic. For the FBI, who were behind the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, it makes them look guilty of crimes far more serious than anything Trump himself has been accused of since his inauguration.
But this doesn’t pose a problem for Democrats and the intelligence community alone, rather it is a bipartisan issue. The FBI’s abuses of power concern us all, whether one is a Democrat, a Republican or anything in between.
The memo should be of particular interest to libertarians who value autonomy and privacy. For those of us who put a premium on liberty and political freedom, the Nunes memo represents a gross infringement, demonstrating just how far they are willing to break their own rules in pursuit of digging up dirt.
Hours before the memo was released at the start of February, President Trump tweeted, “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago…”
The president’s words echoed the sentiment of others on the Right who see the FBI’s actions as a clear sign of anti-Trump animus at the bureau. House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes’ bombshell 4-page memo explores the controversial surveillance of campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page whose business ties to Russia raised eyebrows at the FBI.
Although the FBI and the DOJ applied for a surveillance warrant to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court and were subsequently granted permission to spy on Page, the Nunes memo suggests that the court did not properly vet their surveillance.
Furthermore, the memo alleges that the Steele Dossier, a notorious document by a former British spy, “formed an essential part of the Carter Page application” and that said application omitted information that weakens the dossier’s credibility. One pertinent thing that wasn’t disclosed in the application was the fact that the dossier was funded, in part, by Democrats.
The memo also points out that the application was renewed several times so that Page could continue to be scrutinized and that one individual who signed off on a renewal was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the same gentleman overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, suggesting a rampant partisan conspiracy of sorts.
It isn’t the first time the bureau has been caught doing questionable things, nor is the Nunes memo the first memo to uncover such misconduct. Last year, a declassified memo proved that the FBI shared spy data on Americans with unauthorized third parties.
The NSA has also been illegally spying on US citizens; these violations of constitutional privacy protections have been a major concern for quite awhile and groups like the ACLU are doing their part to educate the public about the unwarranted probes we are facing.
It is disconcerting enough to think that they could potentially violate our right to privacy as individuals, but it is even more perturbing to think that they are doing the same to those charged with governing our nation.
The Dems will likely argue that Trump brought this upon himself by repealing Obama-era digital privacy protections, but it’s important to note that the bureau’s surveillance of Carter Page occurred long before Trump repealed this privacy rule. Furthermore, Trump has been vocal about the need for critical infrastructure and cybersecurity.
For all of the lies that the Left-slanted press have spread about the president trying to shut down television programs that paint him in a negative light, the truth is that Trump is firmly against censorship. As a matter of fact, the Commander-in-Chief has demonstrated the value of things like VPNs (Virtual Private Network) to subjugate foreign censorship.
While visiting China, a country that blocks its citizens from viewing content it deems illegal or inappropriate, the president got around the so-called “Great Firewall” to access Twitter. What’s more, he sent tweets @ China’s leaders on the banned platform, sending a strong message that America will not be curbed by foreign countries or attacked by them online.
If the Nunes memo teaches people on both sides of the aisle anything, it’s that privacy is integral for all of us. Legitimate web hosting, secure VPNs with military-grade encryption and other privacy tools are crucial to protecting our identities and retaining our right to privacy.
There have been rumblings among people like California Rep. Adam Schiff that the memo Nunes provided to the White House was materially different from the version he provided to the House Intelligence Committee.
Regardless of whether this is true, it’s apparent that America is being snooped on by the very institutions we trust with our protection.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the NSA has been working in cahoots with major telecommunications carriers, including AT&T, to carry out massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications of millions of average Americans.
Evidence of this illegal activity has been made available by a former AT&T technician, showing that the telecommunications giant installed a fiberoptic splitter at its San Francisco-based facility to copy emails, web browsing and Internet traffic between AT&T customers.
No matter our personal politics, we should all share one core value—liberty. And true liberty provides for our fundamental right to privacy. If the government is going to spy on its own people, then it’s high time we take matters into our own hands and shield ourselves from the vulnerability of being an American in the 21st Century.