Utah legislators have made it clear that they will do whatever it takes to keep the Federal Government from dictating the affairs of the state.
That is, except for spying on people.
Utah is about to be descended upon by the National Security Administration (NSA).
The Army has awarded a $1.2 billion contract to a construction consortium to build a spacious new data center in Utah for the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) cybersecurity effort.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it awarded the contract to Balfour Beatty/DPR/Big-D to erect a facility in Williams, Utah, that will be used for the NSA’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative, the NSA said in an emailed statement.
You would think that with all the controversy over federal government interference in state affairs by Utah’s legislators, that this would generate a lot of opposition from our state officials. Not so.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said during his inauguration on Tuesday the state would be vigilant in keeping the federal government from pushing too far into the state. But the lieutenant governor said there is "absolutely no disagreement" that national security is an essential role of the federal government, and that the data center is welcome in Utah.
Back in November Utah Legislators made a big stink about accepting federal monies for education.
Just like a little kid stomping its feet, the Utah Legislature approved $101 million in federal money for Utah teachers. In a special session called by Governor Gary Herbert, lawmakers called the bill that created the funding “sinister” and the money itself “crack cocaine.” They also pledged an end to taking federal dollars. Governor Herbert was pleased they approved accepting the money.
They also pledged an end to taking federal dollars.
Senator Chris Buttars-R, West Jordan said accepting the money “consummates a takeover by the federal government of the legislative process.” Buttars also ripped up a copy of the Utah Constitution during an attempt to introduce a resolution to refuse the funding.
Yet now our state government is happily accepting an invasion of a federal government agency which is using the "it will create jobs" bait to lure the legislators into believing that this project will be good for our state’s economy. Never mind that this "job security" will be temporary. Never mind the fact that NSA is at the forefront of eroding our civil liberties by collecting data without court orders on individuals. Financial liberties over civil liberties – that’s what this amounts to.
Those who claim to oppose big government often love to quote Benjamin Franklin, who once said that “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” And yet in a quest for safety from potential unemployment and economic hardship, principles (and liberty) are thrown to the wind for what the Governor also claimed to be a “win, win, win” situation.
What would our founding fathers say?
Our founding fathers didn’t feel the lack of intestinal fortitude that required a vast security apparatus to see to their safety.
(Tom King, Utah activist)
My how times have changed.
As Connor Boyack states:
The NSA’s data center will largely be forgotten once it becomes operational. By then, the “godsend” of the 10,000 temporary construction jobs will be history. But the 1-200 individuals employed at the facility will continue their Orwellian mission of monitoring anybody they desire. Get ready, Utah: Big Brother will be camped out in your backyard.
(Photo taken by Dee in Maryland)