Recent events are enough to make anyone express “vitriolic rhetoric.”
First there was the IRS scandal, in which various IRS flunkies have been targeting Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny, and attempting to interfere with the groups’ First Amendment-protected rights of dissent from the Regime.
My article, Tea Partiers May Need the ACLU Soon was on LewRockwell.com in 2010. The article didn’t mention the IRS targeting the Tea Party, but I did note that the unconstitutional George W. Bush policies that many amongst the Tea Party and conservative wing supported – policies which remove due process and presumption of innocence – may very well come back to haunt those very Tea Partiers.
And now the U.K. Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and former NSA worker Edward Snowdenhave revealed, albeit in a somewhat coordinated and controlled manner, the National Security Agency’s spying on all Americans’ phone calls, emails and other methods of private communications regardless of actual suspicion, probable cause or warrants.
Yeah, NOW some of the conservatives are waking up to the dangers of these George W. Bush policies they supported for many years, as I hear them yapping on the radio. But that’s mainly because the current dictator is Barack Obama. If these revelations came out while Bush was still President, the conservatives would be defending it.
Oh wait a minute, this did come out while Bush was President, in December, 2005 when the New York Times revealed that Bush authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and emails without warrants and that in fact some of the eavesdropping involved U.S.-only calls. But the hysterical conservative dupes such as Malkin and Coulter wanted to hang the Times for such a treason as reporting the government’s criminal activity.
But now that Obama is in charge, Rush Limbaugh et al. have finally heard of the “Fourth Amendment.”
Alas, there are still goofballs and degenerates in the U.S. Senate who have no problem with the NSA spying program. In fact, the senior U.S. Senator from South Carolina says he has Verizon and he wants the NSA to spy on him, on customers of Verizon and other telecom providers’ customers.
Apparently, South Carolina’s senior ignoramus doesn’t listen to Rush Limbaugh.
Is there a psychiatrist out there who is not on the State payroll who can explain these people?
Apparently those gullible sheeple of the U.S. Senate aren’t concerned that such government eavesdropping and spying on Americans’ private communications could get in the wrong hands or be used for devious purposes.
Oh wait a minute, such government eavesdropping and spying actually has been used for devious purposes, as reported in 2008 by Brian Ross and ABC News in this “Exclusive” story.
Well, it may not have been that exclusive, given that Warisacrime.org’s David Swanson had reported on the same story a year earlier. But we can’t expect ABC to cite such alternative sources who are not sufficiently State-licking propagandists. (As they apparently are at ABC and its ilk. But I digress.).
According to the ABC “Exclusive” story, two U.S. military linguists and some of their “fellow intercept operators listened into hundreds of Americans picked up using phones in Baghdad’s Green Zone from late 2003 to November 2007.”
“‘Calling home to the United States, talking to their spouses, sometimes their girlfriends, sometimes one phone call following another,’” explained the former Navy linguist in that ABC story. And some of the conversations being intruded on were of a very personal nature, including “phone sex,” according to this McClatchy story.
But we should believe government bureaucrats when they say that the illegal snooping only involves the phone records and “metadata.”
They aren’t really ”listening in.”
However, in his interview with the U.K. Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, NSA spy story leaker Edward Snowden stated, “If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
If you have seen the 2010 Washington Post series on the overreaching extent of this National Security Gestapo that very questionable characters in Congress continue to support, you would know that a lot of private military- and security-related government contractors themselves have access to the same kind of private information on Americans that government workers have, including NSA and others. (See the Washington Post series here, in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.)
Much as I don’t want to spoil the Andrew McCarthy-Charles Krauthammer fantasyland that this Bush-Obama police state is “keeping us safe” and that anti-NSA spy complainers are “overreacting,” the truth is that the U.S. government’s police state isn’t keeping us safe.
As Marcy Wheeler and Jason Ditz have detailed, despite the massive, unconstitutional surveillance methods already in place for years, the government bureaucrats’ gloating over “thwarted attacks” has been widely exaggerated. And many, many crimes of all sorts continue to be committed throughout America despite such close government scrutiny of web searches, phone calls, and emails.
So this constantly growing police state really isn’t about protecting the American people from terrorism. It’s really about “thwarting” political opposition to the Rulers and suppressing dissent. The IRS scandal and the Justice Department’s surveillance of AP and Fox News reporters are indications of the same thing.
As Cato Institute’s Gene Healy, author of The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, has pointed out, quoting former Deputy Attorney General Laurence Silberman,
(Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover) had let the bureau “be used by presidents for nakedly political purposes” and engaged in “subtle blackmail to ensure his and the bureau’s power.”…
And, quoting the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under Sen. Frank Church in 1976, Gene Healy continues,
Under “Project Minaret,” from the early 1960s until 1973, the NSA compiled watch lists of potentially subversive Americans, monitored their overseas calls and telegrams, sharing the results with other federal agencies.
Watch-listed Americans “ranged from members of radical political groups, to celebrities, to ordinary citizens involved in protests.” Under Project Shamrock, the NSA collected all telegraphic data entering or leaving the United States, “probably the largest government interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken.”
(And see this related commentary by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.)
So, it was happening then, but it isn’t happening now? (As Nancy Mussolini might say, Are you serious?)
So some of the so-called representatives of the American people, such as Sen. Diane Feinstein and Speaker John Boehner, have referred to NSA leaker Edward Snowden as having committed “treason” and that he is a “traitor.” These people obviously haven’t studied their history, such as how the German people supported their own criminal State during the Nazi period. Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation explains here the similarities of that era’s Germans and today’s American sheeple.
Now, I wonder if Sen. Feinstein, someone who is also known to be a compulsive leaker herself, has ever considered the possibility of her own phone calls, emails, web searches etc. being snooped on by the NSA and could information obtained from such communications possibly get into the wrong hands?
Has she discussed campaign strategies with consultants which she wished would remain private? How about private phone calls with campaign contributors or military contractors?
What if a political opponent had obtained such information? Or a Democrat primary opponent?
That just shows how all this Amerikan Gestapo stuff – besides being as un-American as it possibly could be – really is a protection racket.
But can you imagine just how paranoid those NSA workers (and FBI, etc.) must be at their offices, wondering whether their co-workers may have accessed their private communications, and what the co-workers might know about them? (“Why are you looking at me that way?” “OMG, she knows about my seeing the psychiatrist!” etc.)
Eventually, one hopes that the bureaucrats will overwhelm each other with paranoia, suspicion and self-destruction. Perhaps Gary North was right: In the end, the police state is doomed.
And I think it is quite commendable that Sen. Rand Paul wants to take this NSA spying issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But what, exactly, will that accomplish? The Supreme Court has shown itself to be a group of nine ignoramuses, authoritarians and government apparatchiks. They are employed by the State – of course they will side with the State in most cases. Duh.
After all, the high court’s most recent bad decision was their allowing police to take arrestees’ DNA alongside fingerprinting. Dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia predicted that anyone arrested, “rightly or wrongly,” can have one’s DNA submitted into a “national DNA database.”
And that decision is especially disturbing given that DNA used as evidence is not as foolproof as many people think it is.
Rush Limbaugh’s new pal, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, clearly recognizes the right of the people to be “secure in their persons” from these intrusions by the State when it lacks probable cause.
Many government police have been arresting people for the most frivolous of reasons, and for acts which are non-arrestable “offenses,” includingfailure to use a turn signal or walking the dog without a leash. And the “high” court also approved the sicko strip-searches that such arrestees would also have to endure.
And the Fourth Amendment refers to our right to be secure in our “persons,” but also our “houses, papers, and effects.”
Now, just how secure is an individual whose phone calls and emails are being eavesdropped on by government employees and private contractors, especially given the likelihood that such personal information will get in the wrong hands and be used for devious purposes?
This whole thing is nuts! It’s beyond “Orwellian.”
Whether it’s the TSA, DHS or NSA and FBI, the U.S. government’s treating an entire population as criminal suspects will not protect them from terrorists, from foreign invasions, bombings, or shootings.
And we are not “secure” when political power-grabbers are intruding their way into the most intimate daily aspects of our private lives, our homes, and our businesses.
And all this is for no good reason as well!
So as Glenn Greenwald, author of How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok, pointed out in this article with reference to the 2004 Donald Rumsfeld-commissioned task force, and in this article (and as Laurence Vance has observed as well), the Islamists, jihadists, or otherwise inhabitants of those invaded Middle-Eastern and Asian territories have expressed not their hatred for America’s “freedom and values,” but their anger and retaliation against the U.S. government’s violence, occupations, and criminality on their lands and against their people.
In other words, not only are we less safe because of our own government’s criminal spying intrusions and predations against us, but we are less safe because our stupid government bureaucrats keep starting wars of aggression for no good reason against foreigners who will obviously retaliate!
So, if you really want to prevent terrorism, then stop invading countries that were of no threat to us, stop drone bombing and murdering innocent civilians on a daily basis, and stop occupying foreign lands that are not U.S. territories, with U.S. government apparatus and military bases.
And stop believing government bureaucrats and their little helpers who say that these bureaucrats aren’t illegally eavesdropping on your private life.