Faria: American naïveté (Part 2): "If you have nothing to hide..."

The powerful French Minister Cardinal Richelieu stated, “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.” What Richelieu’s statement means is that the State can prosecute or blackmail and force anyone to do its bidding, once that person is targeted by the State for real, imagined, or fabricated offenses. The Founding Fathers understood privacy as the right to be left alone by government, and that is why they guaranteed Constitutional protections in the Bill of Rights, which they almost did not include as self-evident and redundant propositions! I’m glad more prescient Anti-Federalist heads from Virginia prevailed on that account.

But as we have seen in Part 1 of this article, some Americans continue to opine, “If you don’t have anything to hide, then you don’t have anything to fear!” Really? More recently, echoing Richelieu, the bloody Soviet KGB when Dynamic Entryneeding culprits apply their motto, “Show me the man and I will show you his crime,” with the same objectives and more lethal consequences!

“But Dr. Faria, that can happen in Cuba and the former Soviet Union, but it cannot happen here. This is America.” Really? Ask David Koresh and Vicky Weaver, Carl Drega and more recently the much lesser known citizens, John Gerald Quinn, whose home was subjected to a “no-knock” raid (once referred to as “dynamic entries”) based solely on the suspicion there was a gun in his house, or Bruce Abramski, and other lawful American gun owners victimized by the ATF.

Consequently, many defense attorneys advise their clients not to even talk to the police. This is perhaps lamentable, but the fact remains the U.S. government has grown to gargantuan proportions and so have the number of laws on the books and abuses against citizens. The Congressional Research Service estimates there are at least 27,000 pages of laws in the law booksUnited States Code with an excess of an additional 10,000 administrative laws. James Madison, the master builder of the U. S. Constitution noted in Federalist Paper #62, “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood… or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow.”

Yes, voluminous, this labyrinth of laws is used by government to grind incriminating information in the life of any citizen, and with the threat of prosecution, blackmail persons to do its bidding, become informants, take their liberties, and confiscate their property, as in asset forfeiture proceedings. And with the government’s inexhaustible finances, defense proceedings can bankrupt alleged “criminal defendants” (i.e., intransigent citizens) attempting to preserve their liberty and property.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing but respect and admiration for local police. In fact I have recently written a letter praising a police officer. As for police cameras, I don’t mind them either, but I can see where others may be concerned. As for federal police forces, like the Voluminous law quote by James Madisonstanding armies of our founding Fathers, I have reservations based on the historic record as noted.

As things stand now, the federal government has the capability to access very email written and phone call ever made by every citizen. Moreover, today almost everyone uses mobile phones, and Telecoms that track their location reportedly are required to provide this information to the government. Naïve citizen, have you ever said or done something, or gone somewhere, that may cause you embarrassment, or done something unknowingly that violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or the 10,000 administrative regulations? Unless you are a saint, you could be guilty of some peccadillo or indiscretion, or worse, and not even know it!

What about medical or genetic information that may affect your life, the lives of your children and grandchildren in the private or public (government) sector? In the private sector, if it survives, you may have difficulty with health insurance coverage, but in the government sector and the socialized medicine of the future, you (and your children) may be subject to futile care and thus economic liabilities to the State. So, you still have nothing to hide from the prying eyes of the State and nothing to fear? Think again!

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is the author of Cuba in Revolution — Escape from a Lost Paradise (2002). His website is www.haciendapub.com or www.drmiguelfaria.com

This editorial was published in the Macon Telegraph on February 25, 2015. The illustrations used in this editorial came from a variety of sources and did not appear in the Macon Telegraph version, but were added here for the enjoyment of our readers at HaciendaPublishing.com.

This article can be cited as:  Faria MA. American naïveté (Part 2): "If you have nothing to hide..." The Macon Telegraph, February 25, 2015. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/randomnotes/faria-american-na%C3%AFvet%C3%A9-part-2-if-you-have-nothing-hide 

Copyright ©2015 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Comments on this post

Obstinate Naïveté!

Macon Telegraph Comments, 2/25/15

Bob White: With one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, American citizens should be more wary of our government. Our ancestors fought and died for our freedoms and rights. Now we have some willing to say that if you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Ben Franklin was truly correct when he wrote that those willing to trade freedoms for security , deserve neither.

Brandon Moseley Jr.: Dr. Miguel A. Faria,"As things stand now, the federal government has the capability to access every email written and phone call made by every citizen. Moreover, today almost everyone uses mobile phones, and telecommunication companies that track their locations reportedly are required to provide this information to the government. Naive citizen, have you ever said or done something or gone somewhere that may cause you embarrassment or done something unknowingly that violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or the 10,000 administrative regulations? Unless you are a saint, you could be guilty of some peccadillo or indiscretion, or worse, and not even know it."

Have you ever stopped to consider how many criminal/incriminating dealings they stumble across on a regular basis? We clearly aren't saints. And we could be guilty (I'm sure many are) of wrongdoing. Still, Americans aren't having their doors kicked down and dragged off to prison. Why not? Isn't that what we're supposed to be afraid of? Do you not think that Americans would be up in arms about charges being brought up on an illegal search? It is a bit concerning that the government has access to all my personal dealings. I get that. But, I'm more concerned with the terrorism and domestic terrorists. I don't have anything to hide. And if access to my mundane info helps keep the country safer, then I'm OK with that. So if that means being a sheep, then I am one. I'll start worrying about an evil tyrannical government once I actually see one. Because to this point, everything coming from that crowd is a massive leap based on little more than their personal anti government crusade.

Spyros Alvonellos: Spot on with both of your articles. The naivete you speak of is inherent in a native birth here in the USA. People who are born here and have not lived anywhere else in the world, especially the 3rd world have no concept of what it's like to be in a country where you can be imprisoned for years if not "disappear" when you say anything against the government. It will take a complete erosion of our freedoms and a takeover of our way of life for people here to fear it.

Macon Telegraph, Letters & Comments, 2/26/15

Compelling argument?
I’ve noticed something in regards to the replies to Geraldine Parker, Dr. Miguel Faria, et.al. No one has yet to explain why the police or government should have the right to have an individual’s photo or stop them without cause. Rather, it’s the “nothing to hide” argument, “you’re just paranoid,” or an intellectually void statement regarding Libertarianism being passé. Never mind the fact that the founders of the country held many of those same Libertarian beliefs.

One would think if their argument was so compelling, they could come up with something better, right? As to why shouldn’t the government or police be monitoring what I do if I’ve not given them cause to do so? To quote my grandmother when speaking about nosy people, “It’s none of their business.”-- Dave Whitaker, Danville

Richard Elliot: Mr. Whitaker: To paraphrase, "Private privilege ends where public peril begins." How much did covert surveillance contribute to the arrests of the three potential ISIS terrorists this week? How much are we willing to sacrifice individually to protect national interests, or do we want to have our cake (privacy) and eat it too (security)? I don't know where the line is, but believe the system described that seems to involve several layers attempts to reach a balance. If the current balance, whatever that is (it's a secret, right?) is to be changed, how, and by whom?

Bob White: The real question is whether the powers who be are going to honor the freedoms bought and paid for by the blood of our ancestors and guaranteed by the Constitution.. Things such as the 4th Amendment and other other rights, or are we going to be a police state. It can't be both ways.

Mike Ganas: Dave Whitaker, you're absolutely right. Great letter. The "if you have nothing to hide" argument is just a distraction. It forces the person to defend him or herself rather than focusing on privacy rights...

Ben Damron (7/27/15): "Seven Homeschooled Children Become Prisoners of the State" (Remember; This doesn't happen in this country!)

"Seized from their home by police more than a month and a half ago with a promise they’d return within 72 hours, seven homeschooled children in Arkansas were just allowed last Friday to visit their parents at home for four hours before returning back into custody. The reason for the abduction? State and local authorities still maintain the “state-napping” continues for undisclosed reasons. AsOneNewsNow reported last month, it is believed that ill-intentioned complaints from a neighbor spurred the seizure. The kids walking barefoot in the snow to photograph their footprints and household possession of a water purifier not approved by the FDA were the only “allegations” mentioned."

Before this is over with I have a feeling this family won't be growing any gardens and may even get a nice, new house, perhaps with a maid.

From GOPUSA —Fresh Ink