"The scope and breadth of domestic spying is just staggering, and much of it is illegal"
The very nature of our country and our government [is fundamentally transforming] step by step, with little opposition. We all were inculcated with the notion that what distinguished our free country from those horrendous authoritarian tyrannies, both right and left, of the Soviet bloc, Latin America and the Middle East were things like executive detentions, torture, secret prisons, spying on their own citizens, unprovoked invasions of sovereign countries, and exemptions from the law for the most powerful -- precisely the abuses which increasingly characterize our government and shape our political values. As but the latest example, read Mark Benjamin's superb though now-numbingly-familiar account of how we tortured Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah for 19 months and then just let him go once we realized that -- like so many others we've detained and tortured -- he was guilty of nothing.
This doesn't mean there is a complete erosion of freedom equal to all of those societies. Free speech still basically thrives; we elect our leaders; and individuals retain a fair amount of autonomy in their personal choices. But it is simply undeniable that many of the political attributes that were always used to define the oppressive societies against which we were supposedly fighting are now explicitly vested in our own government. By itself, the scope and breadth of domestic spying is just staggering, and much of it is illegal.No speculation or inferences or rhetorical flourishes are necessary to reach these conclusions. Just go read what has been disclosed about what our government is doing in the dark, with no oversight and in violation of our laws -- and the ways in which our political and media class work feverishly to defend and enable it all -- and there really is no other conclusion which a rational person can reach. In a country that lived under minimal notions of the rule of law, the very idea of having Congress pass a special law to immunize retroactively an entire industry which illegally spied on us, on our own soil, for years would be inconceivable. Yet even in the face of these latest revelations of just how broad and brazen this lawbreaking is, that is, in the absence of unexpected developments, quite likely what is about to happen.
yes... none of this is exactly news to those of us who pay attention, but we cannot - we MUST not - cease shoving it out into the public eye by whatever means are at our disposal... Submit To Propeller