Security State Criticized by… Advocate of the Security State

When it comes to the NSA, the hypocrisy amongst supporters is absolutely appalling.

The domestic spying of the NSA is a complete failure– we know that by the lack of any trials concerning terrorism since the passing of the Patriot Act.

But most proponents, who are for the most part business Democrats and Republicans (in contrast to populist Democrats, libertarians, and tea partiers), seem to ignore that the law applies to them too.

Yesterday, Tuesday, Senator Feinstein (D-CA), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a staunch supporter of the NSA, accused the CIA of spying on committee investigations tasked with investigating torture by the CIA.

I get the point that the CIA shouldn’t be trying to suppress the torture report. But the fact of the matter is, it’s ridiculously hypocritical to criticize the CIA for spying on you when you support unconditional ubiquitous government spying.

The most general argument for the NSA is “You’re not breaking the law, so you shouldn’t be worried.”

Feinstein isn’t breaking the law, so why the hell does she have a problem with being spied on?

Snowden, who attacked Feinstein as a hypocrite, noted this as a “Merkel Effect” (Background: German Chancellor Angela Merkel was pissed that the US was spying on the German citizenry, but didn’t do shit about it), “where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them”.

Feinstein had the temerity to demand an apology and an acknowledgement of wrongdoing by the CIA, all while claiming that your privacy is completely irrelevant!

This forms the basis of American government: crony capitalism. Politicians see themselves as out of the range of authority of the government, and they make sure they are, along with their Wall Street buddies. As Elizabeth Warren put it: “Anyone else want to tell me about the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?”

As Republicans demand tax cuts and decreased spending, but more wars, NSA advocates support ubiquitous spying but decry it when they become the subject.

Let me present another idea, in the form of a proof.

Given: Snowden leaked NSA documents concerning classified stuff.

Given: Feinstein called Snowden’s actions treason.

Given: Feinstein’s committee is planning on releasing a 6000+ page document on CIA torture.

Given: the CIA is a government agency, mostly carrying out secret operations.

Postulate 1: The CIA’s torture stuff is secret, as it’s carried out in secret.

Basic Human Rights Law: Torture is wrong.

Postulate 2: Because torture is wrong, it is justified to release secret CIA information on it for the sake of preserving Basic Human Rights. (See Article 5)

Feinstein is outraged that the CIA is violating her constitutional rights and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which limits federal jurisdiction to cases with “a compelling federal interest”. Transcript of the speech, if you want.

Postulate 3: Violation of constitutional rights via spying is wrong, according to Feinstein.

Postulate 4: Because violation of constitutional rights via spying is wrong, according to Feinstein, it is justified to release secret NSA information on it for the sake of preserving Basic Human Rights. (See Article 12)

Postulate 4 contradicts with Given. Snowden is a traitor according to Feinstein, but also according to Feinstein it is justified for him to have released the NSA documents. So either Feinstein and every person trying to get released the torture report is a traitor, or Snowden wasn’t one. Oops. Well, what goes around comes around.

This is Feinstein right now.

Be careful about your policy…

However, at least one good thing is coming out of this. The European Parliament is getting ready to inveigh against the NSA’s ubiquitous spying program. Snowden is still on the back burner, but… it’s a start. Perhaps it’ll finally be some group besides the United States to dictate policy!

Let me sum Feinstein’s crisis up with a comment from here:

When the NSA is spying on Americans, it’s for the glory of “Homeland Security”.

But when that same security apparatus is spying on our politicians, it’s a “Constitutional Crisis”.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Did we really vote for the Patriot Act?

“We all deserve credit for this new surveillance state that we live in because we the people voted for the Patriot Act.”
-Colbert closing the RSA conference on Friday

It’s true. But only somewhat.

We never voted for the Patriot Act. It could be argued that politicians didn’t even vote for the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was shoved through Congress under the cover of “security” while Bush enjoyed 90% approval ratings.

When someone has a 90% approval rating, it means that there’s war. That’s it. There is no other cause that could possibly unite a nation of rational people and Confederate flag-waving tea partiers.

But it’s fairly obvious that a terrorist act isn’t a declaration of war. Rather, people overreacted to it, perceiving it as a conspiracy by Middle Eastern countries to destroy us. You know why?

The last major event in which the US was attacked in the US was in the War of 1812. We came out of both World Wars without a scratch, feeling invincible, because nobody had the time to cross the Pacific just to attack us. (Pearl Harbor was not a terrorist attack. The Japanese attacked a military base in retaliation to the US’ freezing their assets.) Two centuries since we last experienced a major act of terrorism would definitely fuel some overreaction.

Now that it’s been well over a decade, most people are regaining their sanity and realizing that there was no World War III with Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Maybe the NSA doesn’t need to spy on us. But it doesn’t matter, because we can’t take it back anymore. Once you make that drunk text, you can’t un-text it.

Remember how SOPA and PIPA were killed? They died because they were unjustified and completely retarded. The government was unsuccessful in brainwashing people into thinking that piracy was that deleterious of a problem, considering 70% of 18-29 year old people do it.

But the government was able to convince us to assent to mass surveillance because of the overreaction fueled by 9/11. And what do they have to show for it?

Absolutely nothing. There was not a single foiled terrorist plot in the US– if there were, we’d hear about the trial and conviction through loudspeakers from Obama’s desk– making the entire thing utterly useless.

Americans are realizing that, and for once, tea partiers are on the right side of the debate (no pun intended).Well over half of Americans want an end to the preposterous destruction of civil liberties taking place. But no mainstream politician will represent that view– after all, if 9/11 happens again, they will be left in the dust, and Obama will become a god.

We may have voted for the Patriot Act while drunk on nationalism, but we want to take that back now. And the right to nullify our past mistakes is– *cough21stcough*– critical to the success of America.