WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Leaders in the pro-life movement are disgusted by the news that the federal government, led by the Obama administration, has been quietly listening in to Americans’ phone calls and online activities. But some say they’ve suspected as much all along, and won’t let actions they describe as “intimidation tactics” get in the way of their mission to save unborn lives.
British newspaper The Guardian revealed on Wednesday that the National Security Administration (NSA) has been collecting the telephone records of more than 100 million U.S. Verizon customers on an “ongoing, daily basis.”
On Tuesday, the paper broke news of a second NSA spy initiative, PRISM, which tracks search history, email content, file transfers and live chats via direct access to Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and other major American internet companies.
The NSA’s charter forbids its spying on U.S. citizens.
Troy Newman of Operation Rescue told LifeSiteNews.com he was not at all surprised by the revelation that the U.S. government is spying on its own citizens.
“It’s finally out,” Newman said. “These are the things that we have been suspecting and confirming and warning people about for at least the last 20 years. With the advent of technology, it’s become much easier for the government to spy upon us and monitor our conversations. Before, it was just our mail and telephone. Now, it’s obviously cell phones and all internet interactions.”
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Newman linked the administration’s disregard for the most vulnerable human life with its apparent disregard for privacy rights, saying, “If killing children in the womb is a constitutional right, then we have no civil rights in this country. Everything else can be stripped away from us. So, this ought not surprise anyone.”
But just because Newman is not surprised by the government’s spying does not mean he doesn’t want to see the people responsible punished.
Asked what he thinks is the proper response to the news of the NSA’s intelligence gathering efforts centered on ordinary Americans, Newman said, “I think Obama should be impeached.”
“I think half of Congress should be thrown out,” he said. “We should fire everybody in the NSA, the heads of the FBI, the CIA, and force everybody to take a basic course on constitutional liberties.”
He admitted such an outcome was unlikely but nonetheless warranted.
Jim Sedlak of American Life League compared the NSA’s tactics to those used in dictatorships and communist countries. He told LifeSiteNews.com that such practices have no place in a free nation.
“We’ve been concerned the the government would try to regulate speech,” Sedlak said, “and that’s what listening in does, is it tries to put a fear in so that people will be hesitant to say what they really believe.”
“There’s no place for this in the United States of America,” he said. “ They do this in other countries, you know; if you’re in a Middle East country and speaking in the backyard to your neighbor and you say something against the government, you wind up in jail.”
Sedlak said that because his group is on Planned Parenthood’s list of top 15 “anti-choice” organizations, and because President Obama is very closely tied to the abortion giant, he wouldn’t be surprised if they were targeted by the administration for monitoring. But he said the threat of retribution wouldn’t stop him or his group from speaking up for unborn babies.
“What we’re going to do is, we going to do our work,” Sedlak told LifeSiteNews. “We’re going to speak out when we need to speak out, we’re going to write what we need to write in order to get our work done, and trust that if we do the right thing and we do it for the right purpose, which is God’s purpose, God will take care of us.”
He vowed, “We will not be intimidated.”
Newman went one step further, saying that he hopes the government not only listens to but thinks about the words he is saying. “I’m not going to do anything differently,” he said. “I hope that the people who are monitoring my conversations will be impacted and turned to life.”
Newman said he hoped the “takeaway” for Americans on both sides of the political aisle is that principle trumps party affiliation. If left-leaning Americans tolerate violations of civil liberties because it’s “their guy doing it,” he said, eventually someone else will be in charge, and the violations will likely be turned around on them.
“If you stand on principle, it doesn’t matter who’s in charge,” Newman said. “If you allow Obama to get away with these sorts of things, then every president will.”