General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

How do you feel about this statement: The government can do whatever it wants as long as it doesn't get caught.

Asked by ninjacolin (14238points) July 19th, 2011
22 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I’m thinking about the phone tapping incident right now but also more than that.. Kidnappings from other countries, torturing suspects, etc, etc..

When the government gets busted for violating human rights what should be done? It’s not like there’s any guarantee that they aren’t doing several other illegal things that they simply haven’t been found out for.

What place does outrage have over governments who will inevitably bend the rules in an attempt to perfect their grasp on society? What if those in power guarding our rights and safety have discovered that it’s impossible to fully protect our rights and safety without secretly bending the rules?

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bob_'s avatar

That pretty much applies to anything and anybody.

rOs's avatar

Fuck that! Sure I suppose it was true, but getting caught isn’t the problem. The problem is actually holding them accountable for their actions!

ninjacolin's avatar

“was” true? what do you mean?

bobbinhood's avatar

I’m with @rOs. Getting caught has nothing to do with it. The government can pretty well do whatever it wants and we just have to deal with it. It’s not like we can do anything to stop them.

rOs's avatar

@ninjacolin I meant before the internet, they could do whatever they wanted: before the internet, information about government crime was very hard to come by. Now people are fighting back.

ninjacolin's avatar

Re: holding them accountable for their actions.

Maybe they should all plead “Guilty with explanation.” and see whether their actions were justifiable in retrospect.

ucme's avatar

My first thought leans toward it being provocative.

flutherother's avatar

Richard Nixon said it best: “when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal”. He seemed to think it wouldn’t matter even if he was caught. A President with a complete misunderstanding of the Constitution of the United States and the separation of powers.

The people don’t belong to the government, the government belongs to the people. We are responsible for the actions of the government as we grant it a temporary licence to exist. We shouldn’t let the government do anything we would not be happy doing ourselves and we have a right to know what our government is up to. That is a much more important right than the right to bear arms.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Facade's avatar

I think it’s a truthful and unfortunate statement.

rOs's avatar

Another reason the government has been getting away with this shit is pure apathy in the people. Notice how few responses there are here, compared to the questions that stay light and fluffy..

Nullo's avatar

Certainly, they demonstrate the ability. But nobody ought to operate on that basis, least of all the government.

stardust's avatar

Very true. Mind you, they continue with their antics even when caught. They will continue to do what they want until people stop being submissive and start making their voices heard.

marinelife's avatar

Not good at all. I expect the government to obey the laws of the land just as I have to do.

LostInParadise's avatar

Two important checks on excessive government power are balance of power and political opposition. They are far from perfect, but they do tend to rein in what government can do.

The greatest danger is from the ability of corporations to buy influence. It seems strange to me, but is nevertheless the case, that people can be convinced by sufficient propaganda to take actions that are against their own interests.

TexasDude's avatar

What else is new?

King_Pariah's avatar

Outrage? All i see is a few disgruntled looks and then everyone getting on with their life not giving a real shit. It’s just boiled frog syndrome until we reach a dystopian like state, we’re already pretty close.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Most governments, including the US, do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it. Most of the time we have no idea what they are doing, although knowledge about their actions has been better exposed since the advent of the internet. We have no real power to stop them from actions that go against our constitution – we only have the right to vote, but candidates will say anything in order to get elected. The Supreme Court used to be where we could file suit against something the government did that was not right, but the Supreme Court in the US has sold out to the big corporations – last year they made the decision that big corporations have the same rights as “people” & this means that they can give as much money as they want to political candidates that agree to vote the way that the big corporations want them to vote (before, they were severely limited to how much they could contribute). The big corporations basically ‘bought’ the votes of the Justices with money funneled thru their lobbyists. So, now we have ‘government by big business’ – the same big businesses that sent the jobs to other countries. When you add in the cooperation between big business & the military – then you have big business directing the wars in which we are currently entangled. A lot of us know that our government is doing things that are dishonest, but realistically we do not have the power to stop them from doing it. Even when politicians eventually leave office, we still have no real power to make them answer for the lies they told, the illegal actions they perpetrated, the contract ‘plumbs’ they gave out in ‘no bid contracts’ to their cronies….. if we had this power, former President George W. Bush would be on trial for high crimes instead of building his ‘Presidential Library’ at one of TX premier universities (SMU)!

sophiesword's avatar

Ofcourse not.Why should should a bunch of people fulfill their needs while millions suffer at their expense.

”...Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” -
Abraham Lincoln
There is a reason why this quote is still remembered

dabbler's avatar

Getting caught doesn’t seem to matter.

King_Pariah's avatar

@sophiesword unfortunately, not by many.

Nullo's avatar

I suppose that we could always shoot them.

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