President-elect Obama is a man who understands the power of the internet. He’s probably the most “wired”, as well. He receives thousands of E-mail messages a day, text messages, and who knows if he receives “Instant Messages” on the net. He’s probably got caller ID and Satellite TV, as well. He has a cell-phone. And he has the current fad, a Blackberry texting device which is used in conjunction with the internet. Call it a “Job description” accessory. He LOVES his Blackberry, and uses it to a point that most people would be called “Addicted”.
This has led to a dilemma for The Man Who Would Be President. The Secret Service wants him to give up his Blackberry. Clinton was forced to give up Email. So was Bush. Whether or not Reagan used it, I don’t know, but Email wasn’t commonplace during his term. The secret service has deemed Obama’s Blackberry to be a security risk. They are demanding that he give it up.
Obama is defiant. Like the NRA member who parrots “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands”, Obama is on record saying that he WILL NOT GIVE IT UP. He has said something similar to the NRA member -- about the Secret Service having to pry it from his hands. It’s a stand-off. Obama is not the President yet, but the Secret Service wants the device. Here we go: It’s the clash of the Irresistible force and the immovable object.
The President-elect is a lawyer. A Constitutional lawyer. He’s a former Senator. And the clash of the iron wills of the President-elect and the Secret Service is going to be a dilly. I can’t help but wonder what the Vegas odds-makers are giving on the battle. Let’s see: You get the President-elect with a three lawsuit spread? Or do you choose the Secret service to win? The Smart money is on the Secret Service, but the BIG Money is on the President-elect.
On one side, it’s the President-elect, his lawyers, and the Constitution. On the other side, it’s the Secret Service, national security, and the President-elect’s safety.
The referee in the match is likely to be the Supreme court. And it’s funny, but I can’t see how they would decide such an issue. Or even if they will agree to be the mediator in such a match. It would be a real killer of a title, though: The President of the U.S vs. The Secret Service branch of the Treasury Department. I get the chills and the giggles just thinking about it!
George W. Bush has often been accused of living in an information vacuum. Obama wants to avoid this. Yet the Secret Service wants to protect the man who will be President. Can a Blackberry really be such a security risk that even the President will be denied use? Sure, the account could be hacked. So can any government computer. Telephones can be wire-tapped, cell phone calls monitored by unauthorized people, letters intercepted, Email improperly directed, eavesdropping devices can be hidden in private homes, and closed circuit TV is on many gas stations, and in many stores. Schools may have metal detectors and drug-locating dogs , and “spy devices” are in your local courthouse.
The last President who was somehow “well connected” to the People was Carter. The last one that I know of who was able to walk to church without an escort was Thomas Jefferson.
So, is a blackberry such a security risk that it must be confiscated from the President? Truly, I doubt it. I suspect this whole situation is merely a ruse to distract us from the ever-worsening economy and the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Put up your bets, folks… Who’s going to win this battle? Secret Service? Or The President-Elect?
Yeah, it’s true: We really DO need some comic relief right now.