Why did we go so crazy after 9/11? The idea that somehow our freedoms could be easily sacrificed, including those that our Constitution declared most fundamental to the survival of our republic, became the norm.
This past February, more than a decade after attacks that would seem relatively minor in the histories of most war-torn nations, the so-called conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court—in cahoots with President Barack Obama—put the final nail in the coffin of one of the Constitution’s most sacred protections: the right to the privacy of one’s home and thoughts.
Enshrined in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, it was perhaps the most important right of all in the eyes of the founders of this nation. They had risked much as colonists in objecting to the warrantless intrusion into people’s homes conducted by the king of England. That is why they guaranteed “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Surely, the right to be secure in one’s person and papers would extend in the modern era to telephone conversations, as candidate Obama stated when he first ran for President and condemned the warrantless electronic surveillance of the Bush Administration. He specifically denounced Bush’s exploitation of the 9/11 attacks as “an excuse for unchecked Presidential power. A tragedy that united us was turned into a political wedge issue used to divide us.”