The 1st Amendment Just Gets in the Way
- Political hacks from both parties have eagerly passed and funded endless 1984 Surveillance State programs in violation of the Bill of Rights.
- The politicians and their generals secretly violate the 4th Amendment and then blame the free press for daring to report it.
In what might be the most explicit hostility to such freedoms yet – as well as the most unmistakable evidence of rampant panic – the NSA’s director, General Keith Alexander, actually demanded that the reporting being done by newspapers around the world on this secret surveillance system be halted.
The head of the embattled National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, is accusing journalists of “selling” his agency’s documents and is calling for an end to the steady stream of public disclosures of secrets snatched by former contractor Edward Snowden.
“I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000 – whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these – you know it just doesn’t make sense,” Alexander said in an interview with the Defense Department’s “Armed With Science” blog.
“We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policy-makers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on,” the NSA director declared.
Julius Caesar's speech to the Senate
The death of the Roman Republic from HBO's "Rome". History has shown again
and again that generals often could care less about a Constitution. For the
military mind it is all about controlling people.
Freedom of the Press
Freedom - Always a radical thought.
The UK Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, who exposed the spying with the help of Edward Snowden, rips into the NSA with a new article.
Here are a few highlights:
As was true for Brazil previously, reports about surveillance aimed at leaders are receiving most of the media attention, but what really originally drove the story there were revelations that the NSA is bulk-spying on millions and millions of innocent citizens in all of those nations. The favorite cry of US government apologists -–everyone spies! – falls impotent in the face of this sort of ubiquitous, suspicionless spying that is the sole province of the US and its four English-speaking surveillance allies (the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
There are three points worth making about these latest developments.
• First, note how leaders such as Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted with basic indifference when it was revealed months ago that the NSA was bulk-spying on all German citizens, but suddenly found her indignation only when it turned out that she personally was also targeted. That reaction gives potent insight into the true mindset of many western leaders.
• Second, all of these governments keep saying how newsworthy these revelations are, how profound are the violations they expose, how happy they are to learn of all this, how devoted they are to reform. If that's true, why are they allowing the person who enabled all these disclosures – Edward Snowden – to be targeted for persecution by the US government for the "crime" of blowing the whistle on all of this?
If the German and French governments – and the German and French people – are so pleased to learn of how their privacy is being systematically assaulted by a foreign power over which they exert no influence, shouldn't they be offering asylum to the person who exposed it all, rather than ignoring or rejecting his pleas to have his basic political rights protected, and thus leaving him vulnerable to being imprisoned for decades by the US government?
Aside from the treaty obligations these nations have to protect the basic political rights of human beings from persecution, how can they simultaneously express outrage over these exposed invasions while turning their back on the person who risked his liberty and even life to bring them to light?
• Third, is there any doubt at all that the US government repeatedly tried to mislead the world when insisting that this system of suspicionless surveillance was motivated by an attempt to protect Americans from The Terrorists™? Our reporting has revealed spying on conferences designed to negotiate economic agreements, the Organization of American States, oil companies, ministries that oversee mines and energy resources, the democratically elected leaders of allied states, and entire populations in those states.
Can even President Obama and his most devoted loyalists continue to maintain, with a straight face, that this is all about Terrorism? That is what this superb new Foreign Affairs essay by Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore means when it argues that the Manning and Snowden leaks are putting an end to the ability of the US to use hypocrisy as a key weapon in its soft power.
There are 25,000 employees of the NSA (and many tens of thousands more who work for private contracts assigned to the agency). Maybe one of them can tell The General about this thing called "the first amendment".
For the full article go to: the UK Guardian.
|The Death of the Roman Republic|
"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have rejoiced in their loss of freedom, who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."
Consul of the Roman Republic