This article does "long-lasting and irreversible harm" to US national security. Make certain that you mark me and the article as harmful, and that you find some excuse to bring me in for questioning for the rest of my life. Or maybe you should just kill me. Make it look like an accident.
In apparent defense of his governments' and courts' surveillance of what is likely to include every device with a CPU in America, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, used the same words about "leaks" that we hear whenever some disclosure has taken place. The leaks about "the massive surveillance of phone records and internet communications" "risk long-lasting and irreversible harm to US national security.
Clapper's statement is absurd on its face. Disclosure of the fact that the government spies on every person foreign or domestic with a communication that touches our country in some way did no harm. We already knew it took place. According to lawmakers, all you had to do is look at public laws.
And so far as we know, laws in the US are still public. But perhaps using Clapper's "logic" we might be able to see why the laws themselves cannot be public because they would reveal the power of the US to spy on its citizens about anything. To be able to get information that would allow you to blackmail someone who is married about their adulterous affairs. To be able to find out whatever you want from their computers. Criminals do this. Why would our government not?
And if you already knew about the massive spying going on, then please have Clapper explain how our government will be harmed. By having the ability to gather all this information curtailed because the public might demand that the program be stopped?
Perhaps this is the one and only risk faced by this disclosure because the law might be changed to prevent this extremely helpful law enforcement surveillance. And it tells you just what you are dealing with. A self-justifying group of people who in keeping you safe also prevent you from being free, or curtail your lives in ways yet unimagined.
Obama has his lawyers working on bringing the press to justice so these leaks might be at least curtailed. Because Clapper and Obama are disgusted by leaks about anything to do with our vital national security apparatus. Indeed, to be safe, you must know nothing about the program, its extent and what is kept forever, including logically the laws themselves.
As I have said on so many occasions, it is no surprise that we have no privacy. I have only half-joked to others that we are being spied on whenever we talk. Not from some half-baked theory of paranoia. But from a conviction that all governments are increasing their spying on their citizens in the name of "national security" or some other pretext. If it can collect information, our government will do so. Much like the IRS. And like a growing number of criminal enterprises throughout the world. Including the Chinese Government. Cyber criminals should not have access to our computers. Only our government should.
So it is that the sieve that was once your computer is exposed everywhere, at least when it dares try to communicate. Small programs inserted by anyone into your computer to let the government or someone else in.
It was important for the companies conspiring with the US and no doubt others ensure that other laws not be broken, or contracts breached. So there were no "back doors," like the programs used by the government and criminals to spy on you, to your data according to these companies. Only, front doors where the government could back its trucks up or connect its huge pipes and let it rip. Into the servers at NSA's new facility in Utah. And anywhere else the government may want.
And unlike the IRS. Because the IRS cannot collect much information, and its uses of the information are controlled. The intelligence community, by its very nature, determines how long to keep the information, who can see it, where it goes, what it is used for, etc. There are no boundaries to "intelligence" because to put boundaries would be to cause "long-lasting and irreversible harm" to US national security.
After we brought state, county and city governments police and armies into the fray, coordinating things with them, there is no reason to believe that this is not conducted by a broad reach of governments and institutions inside and outside the US. Nothing in any terror legislation says only some can conduct spying on us or get information gleaned from "national security" spying.
We found ourselves involved in another intelligence action that Washington's intelligence community certainly lauded just after the Boston Marathon bombing. An experimentation in citizens informing on each other. Nazi Germany did this too. And of course, this was just to catch bombers, with every citizen working together.
We clearly cannot be secure until all is known by only a select few. And even knowing everything about everyone, people still can conspire by speaking in each other's presence. Or can we?
We see movies like Enemy of the State. After all, do we not believe that our conversations in "private" can be overheard by super-sophisticated eavesdropping electronics of the 21st Century?
The concept of having people followed, their mail and other things opened, and tracking what they do is a very old concept practiced by every regime in history. Why be shocked when we find out our own "free" society is doing the same. After all, unlike Nazi Germany we do not arrest people without warrants, put them in jail without trial forever, or take other steps considered as far from free as humans can be.
Wait a minute. We do.
But we are different. We have Barrack Obama and James Clapper to monitor our spy programs to ensure we are doing only what is necessary and best. And we do so with federal courts acting as much more than a rubber stamp.
So what if they require no probable cause, no relationship between the data in almost all of what is being trapped and anything of any use whatsoever. When something arises, having that database enables our government to investigate future crimes and stop them before they happen. So we can use the database anytime. For any reason.
We trust them.
I have to smile wryly now. Years after my first comments on the fact we had no idea who Barrack Obama was, through my many comments that Obama was Bush III, to today when so many are beginning to voice the same concerns. Indeed, even great institutions are mimicking The Atlantic and others who have printed articles from liberals since at least 2012 telling the public why they could no longer turn a blind eye to kill lists and other actions that are as far from liberal and libertarian as can be.
When the evidence is in front of you, you have to finally say something consistent with your beliefs. It becomes important to use your moral compass instead of remaining true to what you thought your cause was.
And for certain, President Obama and Congress listen. After all, without the program, train bombings and all sorts of things would have occurred. Instead, we were able to divert them. Or so the government wants you to believe.
President Obama has given lip-service to "reviewing" the laws to see if we need to stop the ten year fake and unconstitutional "war" on terror. But in reality, we will see nothing. After all, we believe that our liberties should be curtailed, and that surveillance is something we all should put up with for the rest of time. And we are not very troubled as a country because of this.
After all, as Obama says, all of Congress knew of one program and a select few others know everything. And we have FISA ("Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act") courts reviewing what is being done.
This is precisely what we do. We rain terror from the skies by killing people from drones based on information processed from data taken from these many secret intelligence programs throughout the world, allowing us to know where "bad" people will be, and we are able to stop terror against Americans before it occurs.
Precisely like Minority Report, we prevent murder from happening.
To our knowledge we have no precogs floating around without distraction in a darkened room telling us what is going to happen.
But we do have our brand new billion dollar facility, NSA's Utah Data Center. According to Fox News, this has "a major focus on cyber security. . . . Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion stacked iPhones 5's-- that stretches past the moon.)"
Some liberal columnists make fun of Fox News that supported surveillance under Bush. But why? If they oppose it now, why not agree that they are right.
Do liberal columnists believe that Fox News is wrong now?