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Friday, 26 July 2013 10:31

Chris Christie Finds Liberty a "Dangerous Idea"

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On the eve of a House vote Wednesday on his amendment to curb the National Security Agency's daily dragnet collection of Americans' phone records, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted, "Washington's elites fear liberty. They fear you." On Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (shown) demonstrated just how eager he is to join the Washington elite.

Speaking at the Republican Governors Conference in Aspen, Colorado, Christie delivered what Aaron Blake at the Washington Post described as a "clear broadside" against Republicans of a libertarian bent, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, expected to be competing with Christie for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

"As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought," Christie said.

Asked whether he meant to include Paul in that call for caution, Christie said, "You can name any one of them that's engaged in this. I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation.... I'm very nervous about the direction this is moving in."

One of the things making Christie nervous is the battle for privacy rights against what some see as a flagrant overreach by the federal government in the kind of surveillance conducted by the NSA in the name of national security. "I think what we as a country have to decide is: Do we have amnesia? Because I don't," Christie said. "And I remember what we felt like on Sept. 12, 2001."

By citing both September 10 and September 12 of the year 2001, Christie has September 11 surrounded, perhaps with the thought of capturing it as his issue for 2016. By doing so he would be picking up the mantle of fallen presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who campaigned so hard on that tragic event in the 2008 campaign that Joe Biden suggested every sentence from the former New York mayor contained only three things: "a noun, a verb and 9/11."

Over more than a decade now, there have been a lot of explanations offered for the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and our nation's inability to detect and prevent it. Some have blamed lax security or intelligence failures, or an attention deficit regarding terrorist threats on the part the president at the time, the aforementioned George W. Bush. Some blamed it on inadequate response to previous terror attacks, while others cited our nation's long record of military interventions and political machinations in the Middle East, including the imposition of no-fly zones in, and an economic embargo against, Iraq — or, to borrow a phrase from the late columnist Joseph Sobran, it may have been due to "all the good will we built up through years of bombing Arab cities and starving Arab children."

But Gov. Christie is way ahead of the curve. He has already figured out who is to blame for the next 9/11 if, God forbid, there should be one. Future widows and orphans will be able to blame those libertarian members of Congress, who take seriously their oath of office and want to put some real constitutional and statutory restraint on the activities of that "big government." Republicans rail against big government on the campaign trails, while generously funding it in the intervals between elections. They are the true "wacko birds," as Sen. John McCain called Rand Paul and the handful of senators who supported Paul's filibuster over the president's use of drones to kill American citizens without due process of law.

Christie obviously approves of all the drone attacks and other bombings President Obama has ordered in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere, as well as our 12-year war grinding on in Afghanistan.

"I want to say that I think both the way President Bush conducted himself and the way President Obama has conducted himself in the main on those types of decisions hasn't been different because they were right and because we haven't had another one of those attacks that cost thousands and thousands of lives," Christie said. Of course, Bush's war in Iraq cost more "thousands of lives" than the 9/11 attacks. And Iraq was not involved in 9/11, a detail that Christie, like so many others, is willing to overlook.

The Amash amendment was not about dismantling America's defenses, or even the NSA, though the agency's very existence may be unconstitutional, since it was created by order of President Truman without Congress even knowing about it. What was proposed by the amendment was limiting the NSA's collection of telephone call records to investigation of actual terror suspects instead of its current practice of scooping up all the calls, along with all e-mails and other communications, of the entire population as a matter of daily routine. It is hardly a wild-eyed libertarian idea. While it lost by a narrow 12-vote margin, it attracted the support of a wide range of representatives, many of whom could hardly be classified as libertarians. Even Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner, often "credited" as a legislative author of the PATRIOT Act, voted for the amendment. But after an all-out lobbying effort by White House and members and friends of the "national security" establishment, the supporters of the amendment were outnumbered by its foes. As the Washington Times observed in its editorial summation:

"A strange coalition of spooks, veterans of the George W. Bush White House, Republican and Democratic committee chairmen and the Obama administration emerged from the shadows to prevent the defunding of the domestic spying. Nothing creates 'bipartisanship' quite like undermining the Constitution."

Photo of New Jersey Governor Christ Christie: AP Images

7 comments

  • Comment Link steve hoffman Saturday, 27 July 2013 12:59 posted by steve hoffman

    I'm sorry but i feel no more descent Mr Christie than i do for any other politcian. Sorry America but its your stupidity/naivety that has put this country in this position. Can't remember who said it but"when your government has nothing better to do then pass laws,they have out lived their usfulnes". Mr Chtsitie is just another one of the rich boys trying to be sure his name is going to be some where in the history books.America will never have to worry about being in the history books, at least no more than Rome or Greece does.

  • Comment Link Frank M. Pelteson Saturday, 27 July 2013 10:29 posted by Frank M. Pelteson

    Chris Christie is merely emulating what Osama Bin Laden said in an broadcast interview:

    "I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in and the West in general into an unbearable hell and a choking life."

    Of course, those of us in the know about the Marxian Dialectic of Thesis-Antithesis, Synthesis know that Bin Laden's attack on the Twin towers would result in the REACTION of creating a tyrannical police state, as the one we are now rapidly approaching.

  • Comment Link Joy Thompson Saturday, 27 July 2013 05:54 posted by Joy Thompson

    "Chris Christie finds 'liberty' a dangerous idea." Well, I find any higher political aspirations of Chris Christie a dangerous idea.

  • Comment Link Jack Coleman Friday, 26 July 2013 23:15 posted by Jack Coleman

    I remember what I felt like from December 7, 1941 - August 14, 1945.
    During that period of time thousands of American heros lost their lives in defense of this country's freedom and liberty.
    I find it hard to believe that this once great country has fallen this far since then, and have nothing but contempt for those that have led us there.

  • Comment Link REMant Friday, 26 July 2013 21:32 posted by REMant

    Christie, Warren, is close enough to NY to be one of them, and that he's a neocon seemed to me to be obvious from the first blimp on the radar. And I don't suppose it has occurred to many that al-Qaeda did us a favor a dozen years ago.

  • Comment Link BOB WILLS Friday, 26 July 2013 21:00 posted by BOB WILLS

    "As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought," Christie said.

    First things first ! One reason we were sabotaged on 911 was, the very reason we are being sabotaged TODAY! NO Congress that were elected by the People had a backbone, nor is there one Today! Now we can roll that ball back and forth across the court or put it up in the air for a change. Two parties are the same party and that's NOT what the US Constitution had in mind. Terms of limits need to be applied here my fellow citizens. Some Congressmen are born in and die in Federal government positions, taking an unprecedented amount of wealth w/them. How? After they learn the path of taxpayers moneys, everything else seems irrelevant. Then it's, "Let's just follow the money....and do nothing."

  • Comment Link Warren Mass Friday, 26 July 2013 11:32 posted by Warren Mass

    For some time, I have admired Christie as a refreshing, candid individual not afraid to fight the liberal unions in New Jersey and tell like it is. His New Jersey-tough-guy persona was much like many male members of my family, including my late father.

    However, he has now crossed over the Rubicon, as far as I am concerned. If he has no more respect for our Constitution and our liberty than he displayed at the the Republican Governors Conference, then all I can say to him, in perfect New Jersey dialect, is: "Take a wawk, Christie!"

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