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#JeSuisCharlie: Standing on Our Feet

The horrific shootings yesterday in Paris, France at the office of a satirical paper have shocked the world. To the people of France, our colleagues Parti Pirat du France, and the families and friends of those wounded and killed, the United States Pirate Party sends our deepest condolences.

In the United States, soon after the news of the tragic killings broke, many elected officials spoke about the attacks. One of these officials, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took the time to condemn the attacks, but also state that the reforms desperately needed to the NSA’s admitted illegal spying are “eroding” any way to prevent such an attack. The Senator from South Cowardina hasn’t yet noticed that despite all the reforms that have been made to rein in our far-overreaching intelligence programs have been extremely minor, despite Graham implying otherwise. In fact, the bill to reform the bulk metadata collection program of the NSA was just two votes shy of breaking the Republican-led filibuster that stopped the bill in its tracks.

For certain, the Pirates would love to know what “common sense” Graham used to tell journalists to “be concerned” when speaking on CNN yesterday. Should they be concerned that Graham and other chickenhawks will try to erode freedom further by expanding the NSA’s already admitted illegal actions?

Stating that “even though it’s in France, it’s an attack on us” doesn’t send a message of solidarity at all, but of self-centeredness and egotism that has pushed America into conflicts that we do not belong in, using tactics that have not been proven at any point to stop these sorts of attacks, including interrogation, torture, and the mass collection of metadata.

To continue to allow the NSA to run unchecked is to cower in fear of those who would do us harm. As Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, who died in yesterday’s attack, said he would “rather die on my feet than live on my knees” in fear of retaliation for his work, we Pirates must stand and fight against any sort of lax rules regarding the NSA’s spying and further infringement upon our freedoms, including freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Instead of allowing our Government to take more of our rights away, we must fight onward and not fear whatever may come from us using our voices and votes to fight for a world we want to live in.


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