Today's hearing was supposed to be about surveillance. Since they didn't get around to it, I will.
The civil liberties faction who hate surveillance operate on a lie: that security infringes on freedom. No, security enhances freedom, which insures our survival. Especially now when we are at war with a disease. Now, libertarians love to twist the Ben Franklin quote when he said that, "Those who would give up liberty to purchase safety deserve neither." It's not about surveillance. But a tax dispute over who pays for frontier defense in Pennsylvania. Ben would have been fine with the NSA.
What civil libertarians miss is our enemies realize that our love of liberty makes us vulnerable to their apocalyptic goals. They use our dedication to freedom to infiltrate, kill and then inevitably rid us of that very same freedom.
So, what's the answer? We must realize that the survival of liberty requires a coexisting exception, one that allows us to stop the attacks on said liberty. This co-existing exception should sit beside our rights. Think of it as a bouncer whose job is to stop those people whose belief systems run counter to our freedom. So these anti-terror programs are not in conflict with liberty but act as a tougher, more muscular pal, there to help, making sure that you are safe from dirty nukes, bio-terror and beheadings. Because it's hard to be free when you are dead.