In a recent article “Beyond Trump: Rebooting the System from inside the Death Machine,” Nafeez Ahmed, Andrew Markell, and Gunther Sonnenfeld articulated their perspective on Trump’s rise to power less succinctly and with fewer no-nonsense tools than I intend to offer in this essay. While coming close to the heart of the matter, they didn’t quite arrive which often happens when attempting to clarify “the crisis of civilization.” After all, we’ve never been here before, and if we’re honest, we must admit that we have difficulty articulating it for ourselves and never quite know how to articulate it to others.
The coming arrests mean that a wide range of Americans will experience the violations that poor people of color have long endured. Self-interest alone should have generated sweeping protest, should have made the nation as a whole more conscious. We should have understood: Once rights become privileges that the state can revoke, they will eventually be taken away from everyone. Now those who had been spared will get a taste of what complicity in oppression means.
And you, Prometheus, you stole their fire, and you know it. You said, “Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, [Senator Dianne] Feinstein, and [Congressman Peter] King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.” Someday you may be regarded as a Mandela of sorts for the information age, or perhaps a John Brown, someone who refused to fit in, to bow down, to make a system work that shouldn’t work, that should explode. And perhaps we’re watching it explode
I myself find a certain continuity between placing people in inhuman prison conditions and raping their identities through metadata surveillance. It’s all bad. But what is your point, Melissa? That because Snowden is exposing (“complaining about”) government surveillance rather than prison conditions he should willingly submit himself to the U.S. prison system?
How bad is it? According to Ron Tice, who worked as an offensive NSA agent from 2002 to 2005, before becoming a source for this Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times article exposing NSA domestic spying, in the summer of 2004 he saw orders to spy on Hillary Clinton, Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, Gen. David Petraeus, and a current Supreme Court Justice. In 2007, the NSA wiretapped a bunch of numbers associated with a forty-some-year-old senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives now would you? It’s a big White House in Washington D.C. That’s who the NSA went after. That’s the President of the United States now.” Tice went on to say: “The abuse is rampant and everyone is pretending that it’s never happened, and it couldn’t happen. … I know [there was abuse] because I had my hands on the papers for these sorts of things : They went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of congress — Senate and the House — especially on the intelligence committees and the armed services committees, lawyers, law firms, judges, State Department officials, part of the White House, multinational companies, financial firms, NGOs, civil rights groups …”
‘Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped’ ‘Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American’
With the continuing release of secret files on the NSA’s spying programs on American citizens, spying programs supported in their entirety by the Obama Administration, it appears that the false illusion of Barack Obama as the reincarnation of Jack Kennedy is finally coming to an abrupt and rude end. It’s being assisted by the multiple stress fractures of the economy, joblessness, divisive politics and the growing distrust of government at all levels, ironically called forth by that very government. There’s also the environment and energy, when combined with the above, provides an opportunity to see the administration’s ineptitude at best, and their callous disregard for the constitution at the worst. Now it’s going to get ugly. It’s already getting ugly.
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian. The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
Sad, isn’t it, that just one day before Christmas, we have to stand out in the cold and worry about getting another big lump of coal from our politicians?! But unfortunately it’s expected that Obama will sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law right after the holiday. Since that’s the same day the big sales start, few Americans will probably be paying attention to the police state being officially ushered in.
The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, if signed into law, will signal the death knell of our constitutional republic and the formal inception of a legalized police state in the United States. Passed by the House on May 26, 2011 (HR 1540), the Senate version (S. 1867) was passed on Dec. 1, 2011. Now only one man — Barack Obama, a scholar of constitutional law — will make the decision as to whether the Bill of Rights he went to Harvard to study will be superceded by a law that abrogates it.