When Bill Clinton was in office and his Attorney General Janet Reno decided to send Cuban refugee Elian Gonzales back to Cuba to be with is father, Sean Hannity was a huge opponent of the force federal agents used to break into the young boy’s relatives home in Miami in order to send him back to Cuba. For Hannity, it was Big Bad Government infringing on property rights and American freedom in general.
Fast forward to the Bush years, and Hannity couldn’t get enough of the federal government infringing on American citizens’ rights on issues of NSA surveillance and the Patriot Act, hammering anyone who thought they were a bad idea.
Fast forward to the Obama years, and Hannity is again a huge opponent of Big Bad Government, saying that the NSA’s programs “are a clear, a very clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.”
Anyone see a pattern here?
Dinesh D’Souza, film maker, rabid conservative, and convicted fraudster has spent a lifetime defending the interests of the powerful. A former Reagan aide and staunch Bush supporter, D’Souza once wrote that US prisons at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib “are comparable to the accommodations in midlevel Middle Eastern hotels”. In fact, D’Souza was a big fan of torture, stating that water boarding was a “No brainer”, and “By historical standards, these [tactics] aren’t even torture.” In an interview with Bill O’Reilly where D’Souza claimed the Left wanted Bush to lose in Iraq, he warned of a dangerous movement that sought to dismantle the surveillance state:
“These are the guys — these are the guys — first of all, they want to shut down Guantanamo. They want to repudiate the Patriot Act. They want Bush to lose for a domestic political reason.”
Fast forward to 2014, and D’Souza is horrified by the government’s ability to spy on its citizens.
“The federal government has a great deal of power, and now, with the NSA surveillance, with the government, in a sense, having access to your apps and your emails,” D’Souza said recently on Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg Show. “The Founders would’ve been a little terrified about what this kind of power does to people.”
D’Souza was so concerned about the evil apparatus of the federal government that he now supports internet activists like Aaron Swartz, the Reddit co-founder who hanged himself after being Federally indicted for accessing academic journals from MIT’s servers. Swartz’s story features in D’Souza’s upcoming documentary ‘America’, and was apparently so important that D’Souza released a 2 minute segment to let America know just how strongly he feels about it.
“I wanted to share the story of Aaron Swartz in order to help Americans to recognize the kind of power that our government has over us and how they can use that power,” said D’Souza. “Americans across the spectrum should unite against this kind of heavy- handed abuse of power.”
You have to love this guy…
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.