Glenn Beck And Surveillance.

OK, Glenn Beck is being his usual paranoid self here, but he has a point:

Let's say my company, Mercury, where we have internet records for all of our business. We also have all of our emails and everything else. Let's just say that the government decides that I'm a threat to the United States and that there's some sort of, you know, well, Glenn Beck has been communicating with a gentleman in Canada. And this gentleman in Canada has ties to a terrorist organization. Remember, they get to define a terrorist organization. Here, let me use a better one. An NRA member uses their gun to shoot something. The United States government decides that they're going to make the NRA a terrorist organization. Don't think they wouldn't do it. They make the NRA a terrorist organization. Now, anybody who has contributed to the NRA could be, in theory, scooped up and held indefinitely without a trial or a warrant. We already have that one going. They're already arguing for these things right now. It's how they define terrorist. So let's say I'm -- because I write a letter to Wayne LaPierre, he writes me back. They say, you know what, Glenn Beck has been in communication with this terrorist organization. With this four-word change, they can now not only go into the NRA without a warrant, no judge involved, on the president's word, they can go and take all internet records and seize them. Plus, this new change in the law would force the NRA or me, my company, to not be able -- we would be bound by law -- we would not be able to disclose the government has done that.

This isn't exactly how the expansion of material that can be obtained by the government via National Security Letters that the Obama administration is seeking works. But on principle Beck is right! When you grant broad, unaccountable powers to the executive branch, they're likely to misuse them, and it's possible you could be a target someday. That's why it's best not to grant the executive branch unlimited power just because they say they're only going to use it to go after the bad guys.

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