Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Surveillence State nabs the Associated Press, a known terrorist organization (not)

According to published reports (U.S. News Here; Salon here and here)  the Associated Press has now been swept by the vast surveillance state set up by the Bush Administration, and then expanded broadly by the Obama Administration (see Here, and Here, and Here, and Here, and Here for some of my thoughts on this issue).  Glenn Greenwald has made a career of dealing with this issue.  And I have to say – AP why are you surprised?

History is repleat with examples of surveillance states, all probably set up due to the PERCEPTION of an existential threat , that grow and morph and begin to consume the very societies that they are meant to protect.  It happened in the Soviet Union, it happened in Nazi Germany – it happened here during WWII resulting in internment camps for Japanese citizens (among other horrible domestic abuses).  It happened under Nixon, and it happened under Johnson as Vietnam raged.

So why in the world did anyone think that the vast (and often contractor led) surveillance state cobbled together in the 9/11 ashes of the Cold War would be any different?  Because it started was pitched to focus on “terrorists”, which is really code for Muslims?  Because it was run by the federal government?  On what basis di all these media types, and telcom bosses, and ordinary citizens believe they would be immune from NSA’s purported billion emails a day capturing and filtering capability?

Look, we as American citizens have to make a choice, and then we have to start acting on it and keep acting on it.  We can either have a free state, where the government really and truly works for us, or we can have a safe state, where the government really and truly listens to us behind our backs, arrests and detains us for no reason and without due process, and murders us using determinations for the President that never see the light of day.  But we can’t have both, and expect them to be mutually co-existent.

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