Scandals Galore

An American paper wrote recently: “Well if it’s Thursday, there must be a new Obama scandal.” Even though this sounds funny, it is in fact rather tragic. From the terrorist attack on America’s embassy in Benghazi and the subsequent cover-up by the US government; the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups; the Justice Department’s controversial seizure of phone records of AP and Fox reporters; drone warfare in contradiction to international law; to the economy-destroying new health-“care”-law, termed Obamacare… you just name it: one scandal follows the next.

And now–Verizon and the report in the British paper, The Guardian, that the National Security Agency (NSA, also known as “Never Say Anything” or “No Such Agency” ) is collecting telephone records of tens of millions of innocent customers without their knowledge and consent (The groundwork for this secretive spying activity was laid with the enactment of the Patriot Act in 2001 under President Bush and an indifferent, uninformed and disinterested Congress, but it has gotten much worse under President Obama, who had prided himself with establishing a new era of transparency. The original author of the Patriot Act has claimed now that it does not authorize the government’s “excessive” conduct). This new development has really made the German press mad, and strong phrases are used, in describing the USA, as being a spy nation, a totalitarian country or even a fascist state. Demands are heard to revisit the EU-US arrangements pertaining to data collection.

The problem is, virtually all politicians(with just a few notable exceptions)—whether Democrats or Republicans, whether President Obama or former President Bush, whether the Obama Administration or the Congress–have had their sticky fingers in this pie. The Washington Times called this behavior “a shocking abdication of responsibility” and suggested that, since they are not doing their job, they should go back “to West Gondola to find a job they can do.” As the National Journal wrote on June 6: “Congress is full of hypocrites. Liberals who criticized Bush are less incensed with Obama. Republicans who bowed to Bush are now blasting Obama.”

The left-leaning Huffington Post promptly coined a new name for the current President: “George W. Obama.”

Unconvincing platitudes or “justifications” are heard from both sides, as if these spying tactics would in any way make the country safer and were only meant to target bad guys. How can anyone say this when no one seems to know how the collected data is being used? The additional lame observation that the information does not include the name of any caller is laughable since there is no difficulty in matching numbers to names. Further, it is obvious that the US government had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, as they have been very secretive about other matters as well (for instance, the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was only admitted 1 ½ years after the event and after the press reported it).

But it does not stop with the surveillance of phone records. As Die Welt and The New York Times reported, the US government has been collaborating or conspiring with at least nine Internet giants to get easy access to private information of their customers, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple and PalTalk. According to the Washington Post, Dropbox is soon being added to the list. Since 2007, a Prism program is collecting all data, including emails, which are transmitted from our homes or businesses via our computer, smartphone, i-Pad, and Kindle. Apparently only Twitter has made it more difficult for the government to obtain such data.

Even the left media is becoming alarmed. The Editorial Board of the New York Times wrote that “The administration has now lost all credibility.” They later found this to be too strong, and added in an updated version, “… on that issue.”

The Washington Post, in its editorial, wrote that the Verizon revelation (and it is strongly suspected that Verizon is by far not the only telephone company collaborating with the NSA) “ought to be a wake-up call for every American… It’s only going to get worse,” continuing that President Obama recently “revealed his desire for even more of this kind of surveillance.” The paper then astutely pointed out the following:

“The Internal Revenue Service scandal is Exhibit A in the case against trusting anyone in the government to behave when it has unfettered access to sensitive information.” In explaining that the “nation’s founding document” prohibits the government’s conduct, as “a man’s ‘papers’ – his communications—are not to be seized without probable cause and a warrant ‘particularly’ describing the items and places to be searched,” it continued: “The breathtaking scope of the Verizon order (by a federal judge who prohibited Verizon to go public with its handing over the records) resembles… the blanket authorization the British crown once gave to its agents in the colonies to snoop anywhere they pleased on the hunt for ‘contraband.’ This is the abuse that inspired the Fourth Amendment, but lazy and irresponsible congressmen of both parties have enabled its return.”

What will happen next? What new big scandal will be revealed in the days to come? When will the American people wake up—if they ever do—and realize they have become helpless pawns and victims within a system of governmental activities, which George Orwell’s novel, “1984” about “big brother” has only remotely begun to describe?

The Bible warns us not to place our trust in men or any government ruled by men. This is not God’s world, and God is not the god of this world—Satan is. We are told to come out of this world and its systems, and not to have any part in it. Even though we live IN this world, we are not be OF this world. As ambassadors of Christ and the kingdom and government of God, we must separate ourselves from the affairs of this world. What agreement and collaboration could the righteousness of a true Christian have with corrupt, secretive and unrighteous politics?

What we are seeing today is just further evidence of the fact that the entire nation is sick, from the top to the bottom, and that America’s downfall is inevitable. Europe is becoming increasingly incensed with what is happening in this country, and while leaders of a complacent and indifferent nation are destroying the country from the inside, the prophesied European military attack on America cannot be that far off, which will destroy the country from the outside. The good news is that when we see all of these things happening, we ought to KNOW that the return of Jesus Christ is near.

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