Friday, August 07, 2009

big brother is getting bigger

From an article earlier this week by Susan Davis in the Wall Street Journal .... be afraid. Be very afraid.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn is taking issue with a Tuesday posting on the official White House blog in which the Obama administration asks supporters to report back when they receive “an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy” to an official e-mail address:

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday questioning his administration’s request for supporters to report “fishy” behavior on health care to an official White House e-mail address.

“I am not aware of any precedent for a president asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed ‘fishy’ or otherwise inimical to the White House’s political interests,” Cornyn writes today in a harshly worded letter to President Barack Obama in which he asks the president to immediately halt the effort.

It’s not the first time the Obama operation has asked supporters to report back on misinformation spread about the president on the Web—but those efforts were largely conducted through his campaign operation and more recently through the party’s political arm at the Democratic National Committee.

Cornyn, a former member of the Texas state Supreme Court, further suggests that the data that is collected by the White House could “raise the specter of a data collection program.”

“As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights.”

If the effort continues, the Texas Republican is asking the administration to detail to Congress and the public the protocols employed by the White House on what they are doing with the data. He further inquires if the administration intends to notify the citizens reported for “fishy” speech.

“Do your own past statements qualify as ‘disinformation’?” Cornyn concludes, “For example, is it ‘disinformation’ to note that in 2003 you said: ‘I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan’?”

At least someone in government is still looking out for us. And it does my heart good to know that it's a senator from my beloved Lone Star State. Thank you, Senator Cornyn.

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