So what's my point in all my above posts? I'll answer that question: THERE ARE NO CHECKS AND BALANCES. That's what this thread is about. We are presently the most powerful country on earth and do have many real enemies. Obviously hi-tech surveillance is necessary to keep us safe, but what of its inevitable abuses? How effective are the so-called checks and balances in place to prevent these abuses? What happens when the government turns its highly sophisticated cameras, microphones, and satellites on the average American? The boys have these toys and both boys and girls will abuse them- it's human nature. Also, realize that Congressmen, judges, and other public figures are equally subject to this same surveillance. Think that they might be able to be compromised? There has to be a more effective way- and not just words or meaningless assurances- to protect Americans' privacy from unwanted and unwarranted government intrusions.
Most CHB RR posters tend to be liberal or at least moderate and have a common sense awareness- probably heightened by this neo-con Administration'a shredding of the Constitution- of the dangers that warrantless surveillance poses to our freedom and liberty. Blindly loyal Republicans implicitly trust this Administration and see such intrusions as necessary to "keep us safe," and dismiss any concerns as being sympathetic to the "terrorists." Okay, Republican Loyalists, fast forward 2 yrs: Do you think that a Pres. Hillary Clinton would have the same concern for your privacy rights? Do you think that she might abuse the Patriot Act? Do you remember the 400 FBI files that were found in her office? Imagine what Hillary or anyone else could do with the hi-tech surveillance devices available.
From my own personal experience, I can tell you that there are no effective checks and balances.