“If you gaze long enough into the abyss,
[Dianne Feinstein] will gaze back into you.”
I suspect that, until Monday, I still harbored a naive vestige of belief in “the Free World.”
Some part of me, I think, continued to imagine that an impassable moral wall separated the United States from, say, Henry VII’s England.
As I stumbled across the following snippet on Breitbart, however, I was overcome with a sudden gloom. In that gloom, I felt my last spark of authoritarian optimism die.
On Monday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called Edward Snowden, the man who leaked secrets about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans to the press, a traitor. She told the press, “I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason.”
… “He violated the oath, he violated the law. That’s treason.”
Treason can carry the death penalty.
Let’s quickly review the facts of this case.
- The NSA’s court order was issued by FISC, a kangaroo court that rubber-stamps 99.97% of surveillance requests.
- The sweeping order requires Verizon to give all of its phone records to the NSA on “an ongoing, daily basis.”*
- Either one of the above facts tells us that asking for court approval at all was little more than a farcical formality.
- The order is an obnoxious violation of the Fourth Amendment, which requires probable cause for a seizure.
- The order was classified – preventing the rest of us from knowing that it was unconstitutional.
The facts of this case are so outrageous that even John McCain has criticized FISA, saying that “the burden of proof should be on the government.” Yet Feinstein’s worldview is different: she does not think that there is a burden of proof at all. Leaking FISA’s decision was the only way to make it accountable to anyone – and Snowden committed “an act of treason” by doing so.
Suppose that a president issued a classified executive order calling for the arrest of his political opponents. Applied with any consistency, Feinstein’s legal thinking would bring us to the same conclusion: secrecy should take undisputed precedence over constitutionality. In order for there to be any debate about the order anywhere, a sacrificial goat would first have to commit treason and risk death.
Feinstein’s disgusting premises proscribe even the vaguest semblance of republicanism. She believes in obscurity for the sake of law and law for the sake of itself.
The Senator is not the only leader of the hang-the-traitor crowd. She is joined by, among others, the quintessentially RINO John Boehner and the viscerally repellant Lindsay Graham.
Yet Feinstein differs from her autocratic colleagues in one critical way: both Boehner and Graham have – believe it or not – reasonable records on the Second Amendment. While all three would allow a future dictator to hijack our government with maximum ease, Boehner and Graham would at least permit us to defend ourselves against him. The Senator from California, conversely, would have us all stand helplessly before an infinitely unaccountable oblivion.
Dianne Feinstein has been a Senator since 1992. That our government is a place where so evil a creature can flourish ought to speak forebodingly about how endemically and hopelessly foul we’ve allowed it to become.
*Months ago, the NSA assured us that it was not collecting any data at all on millions of Americans. This lie leaves us with little reason to trust whatever reassurances the agency might give us moving forward.