Many signs point to a growing consciousness among the American people. I trust that this is so. It is useful to remember that history is to the nation as memory is to the individual. As persons deprived of memory become disoriented and lost, not knowing where they have been and where they are going, so a nation denied a conception of the past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future.
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., quoted in this month's Harper's Magazine.
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.
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
The privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities. We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans. Our efforts are focused on links to Al Qaeda and their known affiliates.
President George W. Bush, May 11, 2006, quoted by PBS' Frontline.
General warrants was part of the reason for the American Revolution. It was that the king's agent could go in and search a house everywhere, search a whole neighborhood with one warrant. And the Boston people said: "We don't like that. We'll have a tea party. We'll fight you." We said no.
Peter Swire, former White House Chief Counsel for Privacy, quoted by PBS' Frontline.
The [PBS] documentary is a straightforward indictment of the Bush administration's decision to sacrifice individual liberties for collective defense ... Big Brother is not, as once feared, a giant centralized supercomputer with a massive amount of information about every American; rather, it is a cherry-picking operation in which the government goes looking for what it wants among gargantuan corporate databanks.
Washington Post, May 15.