The thing I keep hearing over and over again is that “we” need all of this surveillance to “keep us safe.”
Do you really believe for one moment that the government cares about your safety?
When I think of a government that cares about its people, I think of universal health care, a robust educational system, a safety net for those who need it, and taxes proportional to income. I think of clean water, clean air, and healthy food. That is what a caring government looks like.
Compare and contrast that to the government we have. One who tortures, who kills by drone, that incarcerates illegally (rendition), spies repeatedly upon its own in contravention of its Constitution (PRISM is just the latest….read The Shadow Factory by James Bamford for a nice summary of the NSA), one that conducts a War on Drugs that is a war on people of color and the poor, one that says corporations are people and money is free speech. The United States of America has become a horror show.
If it really was about safety, then how come Exxon can poison a whole community with impunity? How come BP can blow 11 people out of the gulf and despoil a whole region with few consequences? How come there are cancer clusters?
Terrorism doesn’t scare me. Not because I have any courage – I don’t. I sort of get the concept of odds, though.
You know what absolutely scares the shit out of me? Climate change. Ocean acidification. GMO’s scare me. The melting Arctic ice. Even the Department of Defense recognizes climate change as a threat to “our way of life.” How surveillance of the American people protects us against that, I don’t know.
The surveillance state is a precursor to a police state. We’re getting there, quickly.
One must ask the question: Why do we have an NSA? We have a CIA, a DoD, an FBI and multiple police departments. This is the third time that I know of that the NSA has been caught doing what they are not supposed to be doing. They are recidivists. They should be fired. As in, dismantled. The reforms after the Church Commission didn’t take; they simply ignore the FISA court and that thing called the Constitution whenever it suits them. Reforms don’t work. Blow it up. And don’t start over.
This isn’t about security or safety. This is about prostitution…our politicians are pimps for their real constituents….the corporations that get fat on taxpayer dollars. The Halliburton’s, the SAICs, the Bechtels, the oil companies…they all suck money away from the public good. Our bridges crumble but the one percent gets richer.
Corporations can poison our water and taint our food and that is perfectly ok with our three branches of government. But let an Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning or John Kirakou, or Aaron Swartz try to bring some accountability back to government and oh boy, they are the traitors.
There is no rule of law anymore. The Constitution is toilet paper. The War on Drugs took a shit all over it, and the War on Terror is the flush. Wave bye-bye to privacy and accountability.
And when a major city gets wiped out by climate change (coming soon to a state near you), don’t start whining about how no one protected it.
Once again, we pay attention to the wrong things.