Eavesdropping, trust, and delegation

Rick Moran discusses Liberty, privacy, and survival in the age of terror (American Thinker ofdc21) and notes several points beyond the usual big brother FUD mongering.

The above is speculation, of course, because no one really knows and, unless the we’ve all completely lost our senses, no one should know. For if our enemies ever learned how the system actually worked, they could take steps to neutralize it. Even the pitifully small amount of information that has come to light could have damaged our ability to track and thwart the designs of our enemies. And herein lies the great conundrum involving our liberty and our survival.

This compact of trust between government and its citizens has been mangled almost beyond repair both by the actions of overzealous intelligence agencies as well as a cynicism born of nearly 4 decades of Presidential misconduct. It is one thing to have a healthy skepticism involving those in power. It is quite another to automatically assume that the occupant of the White House is an evil, power-mad Big Brother who would use the capabilities of government snooping for nefarious purposes.

At bottom, the trust we placed in Mr. Bush by re-electing him must have at its core a belief that he is doing his best to protect us while not violating our cherished rights. This is essentially what living in a democracy means. Anything else, and we might as well crown a king or anoint a dictator to protect us. That way, we would simply do as we’re told and not have to worry about trusting anyone.

There is, and must be, a limit to oversight. We delegate certain tasks and, like effective managers, we should avoid micro-managing. Yes we need accountability. But we also need to realize that those who are doing the job have an acquaintance with the situation, an expertise, and an environment that we do not. We ‘hire’ them to get the job done and it is unreasonable for us to demand or expect that we know every last detail of its doing. We delegate that and must trust, with oversight and accountability at an appropriate level, that the job will be done properly. We have out own jobs to do that require our attention.

An election is where we choose persons with the values and other attributes we desire in those we want to get the job done. What seems to have happened is that those whose candidate did not win the election have decided that cynicism and not skepticism is the appropriate approach. The effort is no longer a matter of appropriate supervision but rather that of an effort to find fault to condemn and malign. – ever had a boss or a spouse like that? It is a famous stereotype.

Stephen Spruiell provides an example of where a cynical effort can lead in Media-Manufactured Controversies: 2005 Year in Review. Remember the tale about crying wolf? That illustrates just how old the advice is to warn the cynic and FUD mongerer about the seriousness of his efforts. If you spend all of your credibility raising questions that do not have the import originally asserted for them, you will have no credibility left if you raise a question that actually has significance.

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