A call for unity

The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society. This nation was formed on the values of an honest and open government that is held accountable to the public. Over time, the quality and transparency of the Federal government has eroded to unrecognizable levels. Never, in my wildest imagination, I thought I would live to see the day that American citizens can be murdered (assassinated) by their government. The decision to murder civilians is, of course, decided in a backroom meeting with a few individuals.

Those who make these decisions claim that it is vital to national security to keep these decisions cloaked in secrecy. We, as Americans, have failed to keep our government in check. When a “whistleblower” comes out with pertinent facts, they are silenced or ostracized and called “traitors”.

The latest scandal involving the NSA’s spying program highlights the dangers of our times. Edward Snowden released details about the immense spying program being conducted. The fact that Google, Apple, Verizon, and a slew of other companies are involved should chill Americans to their core. There is an even more remarkable fact regarding this case. Many Americans feel if one has nothing to hide, then what is the big deal of being spied upon? This type of remark and many others like it is genuinely anti-American. Americans have historically been opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.

I truly fear for Mr. Snowden’s life. The government can easily call this man a “terrorist” and conduct a secret meeting and discuss plans to assassinate him, possibly with drone weaponry. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, has labeled Mr. Snowden a “traitor”. The precedent of assassinating Americans, unfortunately, has been established. It has come to light that four Americans have been killed in drone strikes. Is there a constitution of the United States? It would only require a swipe of the pen to initiate the killing of Mr. Snowden. Due process has been erased in our society.

In the response and dedication of our citizens, whenever we are truly informed, I feel we can make the right choices and hold our elected leaders responsible for their actions. It is no longer an issue of the “right vs. the left”, but an issue of human rights and freedom. When will the abuse of power stop?

Can we trust the government to corral their corruptive behavior that has been occurring for the last couple of decades? Or is it the duty of the common American to stand up for what is our unalienable right to life, prosperity, and privacy? It is time to rise up and break the backbone of this government power, and place it in the hands of a nation that understands freedom and independence.

Christopher Erdman

South Williamsport

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom