An Open Letter to the World
AN OPEN LETTER APOLOGY TO THE REST OF THE WORLD
On behalf of the citizens of the united States of America, I want to apologize for our government’s deplorable actions which have intruded upon the privacy and freedom of individuals around the world. Please understand that this is not the will of the people; most of whom are freedom-loving, independent thinkers who desire a government that respects our privacy and stays out of our business…. and yours.
“There is no reason we cannot fight terrorism while maintaining our civil liberties,” said candidate Barack Obama, just a short time before decimating civil liberties in order to fight terrorism. The actions of this administration and several preceding have been justified as “required to stop terrorism.” We know, like you do, that this does not require spying on our ally’s diplomatic phone calls, nor does it require monitoring a half-billion German communications per month.
Like McCarthyism and Japanese Internment Camps, I suspect future generations will look back upon the governments of this time with disgust, and see our leaders as narrow-minded, power-hungry despots who have damaged the reputation of this great country for decades.
Clearly, a world in which one madman can kill millions with a backpack bomb requires some compromises in privacy and freedom. As President Obama said in 2008, “In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I’ve said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people.”
And yet, he and others like him have refused to implement any of the suggestions — including those from within our own government — to legitimately supervise their actions. These administrations have stood by secret FISA courts, which rubber-stamp nearly every single law-enforcement request for information, and include in it a gag-order to boot. This is not the American way.
They have intruded upon the privacy of every American citizen in ways which we surely do not yet even know. They have spied on our allies. They have undermined the ideals which made this country great. They view both you and us as the enemy. And yet they continue to justify rather than apologize: the ends justify the means, they say on one hand, while denying with lies most of the activities now proven.
(The added irony, then, is that it is this disrespect for individuals and the world that has created and inspired many of the actual enemies we face.)
So, again citizens of the world: We, the American people, apologize to you. We stand by our founding documents, that all people are created equal (yes, not just all Americans, but all people), and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including Liberty, and that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter it.
I, then, pledge to tell my representatives — and all those I know — that while the abolition of the rights of Americans and global citizens might currently be “legal,” it is not ethical, it is not Constitutional, and it is not the American way. We, the people, stand for your freedom as much as ours, and we apologize to you for the actions of a few misguided (or misanthropic) bureaucrats and autocrats that we, sadly, have allowed to subvert the freedom of billions.
I ask you, Americans, to stand by me now — or to quietly accept your fate in a future without freedom.
Postscript: I leave you with two quotes.
“[P]rivacy is about much more than just solitude or secrecy. Citizens who feel protected from misuse of their personal information feel free to engage in commerce, to participate in the political process, or to seek needed health care. . . . Never has privacy been more important than today, in the age of the Internet, the World Wide Web and smart phones… So, it is incumbent on us to do what we have done throughout history: apply our timeless privacy values to the new technologies and circumstances of our times… ”
— President Barack Obama, 2012
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
— George Orwell, 1984 (1948)