You Knew It Would Happen Sooner Rather than Later

The surveillance state’s defenders have wasted no time in exploiting the slaughter in Paris. The headline on a typical article reads, “GOP Senators: Paris Shooting Justifies NSA Powers.”

Anyone with his head free of his butt — which excludes quite forcefully “GOP Senators”–would of course arrive at precisely the opposite conclusion. Recall that the NSA ostensibly exists for just this purpose: to monitor foreigners, especially those allegedly plotting murder and mayhem, and forestall their evil plans. Even the NSA’s most ardent critics usually concede that point; they despise the agency because it has spied on Americans, too. (It is exceedingly rare that anyone anywhere  understands enough of the Constitution and libertarian philosophy to damn both the NSA’s existence and its spying, whether domestic or foreign.)

OK, so let’s pretend we’re morons who want the NSA to spy on those dirty little brown guys overseas and thwart their plots. Doesn’t Paris prove the agency’s utter incompetence at such a task? Who could possibly contend that the NSA has done anything but spectacularly fail at its stated mission?

Naturally, in Leviathan’s alchemy, that means the spooks will emerge with more power and more money from this fiasco.

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12:09 pm on January 8, 2015

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