The government is plagued with controversies throughout the years. Whether it involves the personal lives of government officials, scandals in office or issues on international relations, the government does not run out of interesting stories that the public may or may not know of.
From issues of infidelity and abuse of power to wiretapping issues, the government office is just as interesting as any popular movie plot. And just recently, President Donald Trump accused the former U.S. president Barrack Obama of spying on him last year just below the election took place.
There was high drama last week when Rep. Devin Nunes announced at the White House that he had seen evidence that the communications of the Donald Trump campaign people, and perhaps even Trump himself, had been “incidentally collected” by the US government.
If true, this means that someone authorized the monitoring of Trump campaign communications using Section 702 of the FISA Act. Could it have been then-President Obama? We don’t know. Could it have been other political enemies looking for something to harm the Trump campaign or presidency? It is possible.
There is much we do not yet know about what happened and there is probably quite a bit we will never know. But we do know several very important things about the government spying on Americans.
First there is Section 702 itself. The provision was passed in 2008 as part of a package of amendments to the 1978 FISA bill. As with the PATRIOT Act, we were told that we had to give the government more power to spy on us so that it could catch terrorists. We had to give up some of our liberty for promises of more security, we were told. We were also told that the government would only spy on the bad guys, and that if we had nothing to hide we should have nothing to fear.
So, we now know that the government spies on various people for various reasons especially if you appear to be a threat to the people and to the state. The government can use any valid reason they can find to justify their actions and make it appear legal and within the bounds of the law.
Moreover, the conflict between parties never ceases to end and sometimes get the better of both the Republican and Democratic politicians.
In his earlier tweet, Trump threatened to “fight” GOP representatives who did not get behind his agenda, as well as Democrats, during midterm congressional elections next year.
The US president was quickly told the lawmakers will not bow to “bullying”.
“Freedom Caucus stood with u when others ran”, Labrador wrote.
Although many moderate Republicans outside of the Freedom Caucus also objected to the bill, Trump has pointed to the Freedom Caucus as the cause of the bill’s failure. “We must fight them, and Dems, in 2018!”
Trump voter Joshlyn Smith, a law enforcement officer from Riverside County, California, said the president needs to move past “the Twitter stuff” that often mires him in social media spats – and focus instead on the nation’s policy.
These controversies extend outside of the nation and affect international relations. It is known to the world that the U.S. is one of the most powerful nations in the world. However, America is also in conflict with certain nations and it is no secret from all.
As you can see, the big deal here is levying war against the United States and helping its enemies. Whatever anyone in Trump’s camp could have potentially agreed on with the Russians is highly unlikely to be construed as waging war against the U.S. And as we are not fighting a war with Russia, it’s hard to justify calling it an “enemy”.
There are those who do consider the Russian cyberattacks related to the election an act of war. Russian military doctrine expert Alexander Velez-Green thinks the Russian leaders themselves are seeing things that way, taking advantage of the fact that U.S. policymakers are used to only viewing war as something “limited to the military arena”. Thus the Russians are using non-military efforts (hacking) to “devastating effect”.
What is their goal? According to Velez-Green, it would be “to cripple the United States, shatter NATO, and fill the void left by America’s absence.”
Interestingly, such Republican icons (and known warhawks) as Dick Cheney and John McCain have also publicly come out to say that the cyber attacks could be regarded acts of war.
The fact that there are serious implications to the defense of the U.S. in whatever happened was underscored by the recent resignation of President Trump’s National Security Advisor retired General Michael Flynn. He was forced to give up his post after it was revealed he misled the Trump administration over contact with a Russian ambassador. Subsequently, Flynn’s lawyer offered Flynn’s testimony to Congress in exchange for immunity, which in turn caused many to wonder whether Flynn has something explosive to say.
Politics and governance are not for the faint-hearted. You have to be a gutsy and confident person for you to be able to conquer public speaking fearlessly but also master the art of meeting and communicating with people – both the public and other local or international elected government officials.
And because politicians are also human, they are guilty of certain human frailties too. At times, these mistakes may be costly and tarnish their reputation forever. Furthermore, the pressure of the Internet and of social media can be too much for some, where all their actions are seen by people 24/7 and forever saved in the annals of Internet history.