James Wensits has an article in the South Bend Tribune primarily focused on reaction to Bush’s immigration press conference on Monday. More interesting to me, however, is the aside about Rep. Chocola’s reaction to news that the National Security Agency had obtained, without a warrant, billions of phone records of tens of millions of American citizens. Among other things, the federal government is using such phone records to track down reporters’ confidential sources.
In a separate issue, [Chris Chocola] said he understands concerns that have been voiced in the wake of revelations that the National Security Agency has been tracking telephone records of domestic calls, but believes the administration has the “right intent to protect Americans.”
While he is comfortable with the present situation, Chocola said he would be opposed should he learn that government agents were monitoring domestic phone conversations without a warrant.
“I would have a problem with that,” he said. “That’s illegal.”
So he’s o.k. with the executive branch using a dragnet with no court supervision or other form of accountability that lets them get records showing that a citizen called their bookie, their mistress, their local reporter, their church, a political action group, a phone sex chat room, or whatever; just so long as the federal government doesn’t listen to what was actually said until they get a warrant. What a nice wide view of the liberties bestowed upon us by the Founding Fathers and, if the Founders were correct, our Creator. Chocola is apparently willing to sell his liberty cheap for the illusion of security. I’m not.