Washington, Aug 7 -
U.S. Representative John Boozman (R-AR) today issued the following statement regarding White House Internet Monitoring efforts:
“The Obama Administration has requested that e-mails and internet materials produced by private citizens that are critical of the President's policies be reported to an e-mail address at the White House.
The White House website states: "If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it email@example.com."
American citizens should be free to criticize the policies of the President or any other elected official, including me, without fearing that the criticism will be policed and monitored by the government.
The First Amendment specifically protects speech, and our Constitutional rights must be protected when we use the internet.
I call on President Obama to disable this e-mail address and I ask that he stop soliciting this kind of surveillance on private citizens.”
With all the comments lately referring to Nazis, I have remind you about a well known practice in Nazi Germany. Most Germans were cautious enough to be careful about what they said outside their homes, but spoke more freely in the company of their own families. Children were encouraged to turn their own parents into the government if they criticized Hitler, other government officials, or the government itself. At the very least, it was to identify dissenters.
I have to point out one of my favorite observations: Perception is everything. Let me explain what I mean. I am not privy to what goes on in the White House, so I don't know the reasons why they may do as they do. I can only go on what I do know: that Rep. Boozman is asking the White House to take down a website that asks people to report when they see anyone critizing the healthcare plan. My first thought is that the White House is trying to limit my First Amendment right to Free Speech.
The White House may have very honorable reasons for asking Interneters to tell them who has a criticism of the healthcare plan. Perhaps the White House wants to have answers for the problems presented by those against the plan. But, and this is a big but, the perception is that they want Interneters to snitch on each other.
Much has been said about the White House "hate list". If wanting to live in a country where I can state my opposition to a government plan means I am against the government, then go ahead a put me on the list. I don't hate the Obama administration, nor do I want it to fail, but I will trust in the judgment of the American people when they go to the polls in 2010 and again in 2012.
I am an American, and as such, I am protected by the American Constitution, until it is replaced by something else. When that day happens, America will no longer be the greatest country in the world. It will be just a shabby, tattered, sad, caricature of it's former self. We'd no longer be the country where the streets are paved with gold, where everyone can live and speak freely. We'd be no better than a third rate nation run by petty dictators and bureaucrats. I know there are those who think we're there now, but as of today, they have the right to speak those words out loud to anyone who cares to listen. In what third rate country does that happen today?