"When it comes to respecting the Constitution and the privacy rights of Americans, for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, what's good for the goose is an outrageous violation of the gander's rights," said U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin. "It's no skin off her nose when the National Security Agency does it to us, but when the Central Intelligence Agency does it to her, it's a constitutional crisis."
"Shouldn't the same rules apply to both the goose and the gander?" questioned Sabrin.
In the wake of revelations that the CIA may have rooted through U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee files as part of an ongoing congressional review of agency practices, Feinstein, a California Democrat and chair of the committee, took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to fulminate against it for violating "principles embodied in the United States Constitution."
In her speech she accused the agency of violating "Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, as well as laws against domestic surveillance."
All well and good and, when the facts are revealed, perhaps entirely justified, but Ms. Feinstein sang a markedly different tune last month when she offered what one report called "a full-throated defense of the (NSA's) collection of data on billions of American phone calls."
"There's no question but what the NSA's monitoring of the private communications of law-abiding Americans is unconstitutional," said Sabrin. "And this view is shared across the political spectrum - even former Vice President Al Gore agrees with it."
"Yes, there are real threats, and we must be cognizant of them, remaining vigilant at all times. The best way to do that is to start in our own backyard by respecting and zealously guarding our constitutionally protected civil liberties, including the right to be free from unwarranted government snooping," said Sabrin.
"If the purpose of our national intelligence effort is to protect our freedom and liberty, it makes absolutely no sense to destroy them in the process. That thinking tosses the baby out with the bath water," he said. "My next door neighbor on her cell phone is no less deserving of constitutional protection than Sen. Feinstein."
Feinstein has a track record of double dealing on constitutionally protected civil liberties. For years, she's been one of the Senate's leading advocates of harsh and punitive gun-control legislation, never seeing a restriction on or the outlawing of a type of firearm she didn't like. But in the meantime, she didn't think twice about arming herself when faced with threats against herself and her family, a right she doesn't think Americans deserve as if they can't be trusted with it.
And what of New Jersey's junior Sen. Cory Booker, the politician Sabrin seeks to replace this coming Election Day - how has he weighed in on the important issue of safeguarding the constitutional liberties of Americans? Apparently, he's a complete MIA.
A search of online news sources revealed that Booker has been silent on Fourth Amendment and surveillance issues since last October's Senate Special Election campaign, where he was harshly criticized by fellow New Jersey Democrats who ran against him in the primary for being all over the lot on the issue in a seeming effort to please whomever he was speaking with at the moment. This time around, he's completely silent.
"While issues of violations of our constitutionally protected civil liberties are being debated in the U.S. Senate and throughout the country, Cory Booker is dropping F-bombs on Twitter and talking about driving to Hawaii ," said Sabrin. "He's not even bothering to phone it in. Maybe he's afraid the NSA will listen in."