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”.

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You can’t ban Bitcoin

“Bitcoin has also become a haven for individuals to buy black market items. Individuals are able to anonymously purchase items such as drugs and weapons illegally.” -Sen Manchin (D-W.Va)

There are problems with any method of approaching a situation. Whether you wear running shoes or tennis shoes, you will still get tired after running. You could discard the running aspect altogether and take a car, but now you don’t lose calories.

With Bitcoin, you sacrifice some of the government regulation for anonymity. Meaning, some people can abuse the system to do some illegal stuff.

But who cares?

Is being able to buy drugs over the internet and not through cash such a liability?

This argument, if you think about it, is a lot like arguments for the NSA.

“You might do something illegal on the internet. Let me watch you just to make sure.”

“You might be talking about something illegal over the phone. Let me listen in just to make sure.”

“You might be doing something illegal. Let me follow you just to make sure.”

And now,

“You might be abusing those Bitcoins. Let me illegalize them, just to make sure.”

It’s preposterous. Has the encroachment on civil rights by the reached the point where the government now gets to decide what we can and can’t do on the internet?

Why the hell, Joe Manchin, is it your problem if I want to sell candy for a number on a computer?

Here in America, we value freedom. The government must not provide for your insurance, because that would be an encroachment on freedom of spending your money. Allow the banks to riskily invest with their customer’s money, for freedom, then spend more of taxpayer money to bail them out, to protect the banks’ freedom. Lower taxes, for freedom, but spend more on war– to protect the freedom of the military-industrial complex.

But civil rights mean nothing. We struck down the Voting Rights Act, because we want to act like racism doesn’t exist. We spy on the entire world, because there might just be a terrorist out there. We restrain the sharing of ideas, because artists would, by outdated logic, lose money. We oppose gay marriage, because to some it’s disgusting.

And, of course, we oppose cryptocurrency, because it may have some adverse side effects of anonymity, which, as Snowden has shown us, Big Brother hates.