Saturday, June 15, 2013

Top Secret America – Revisited

Back in September of 2011, we did a post entitled “Top Secret America - the Post 9/11 Terrorism-Industrial Complex” In this short article, we explored just how “out of control” our government had become in the name of national security. Here is an excerpt from that post…
Thousands of government organizations and private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence. Last December (2010), The Washington Post reported that this… "top-secret world ... has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work."
As many of the discerning readers of this blog have noticed, the reporting on the over-reach of our political institutions has been a recurring theme at Tek-Gnostics. In February of this year, we posted a link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s alert that the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was back, with a vengeance.
Now the press is all (pardon the expression) a-twitter over the breaking story of the National Security Agency’s gargantuan domestic spying programs, such as PRISM, et al… as leaked by (now ex) Booz Hamilton employee, Edward “snowcrash” Snowden. Surprise, surprise.
The following excerpt is from Talking Points Memo...
The Guardian Columnist Glenn Greenwald defended the 29-year-old who served as the source of one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history, arguing that the revelations of the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs only harmed "those in power who want to conceal their actions and their wrongdoing" while also foreshadowing future bombshells.
During an appearance on MSNBC'S "Morning Joe," Greenwald said his bombshell reports… based on information provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton… were of "great public interest."

"The reality is that U.S. government officials for many decades now — and certainly over the last ten years — have been abusing their secrecy power to shield from the American public, not programs that are designed to keep America safe and not to prevent disclosures that would help the terrorists, but to conceal their own actions from the people to whom they're supposed to be democratically accountable," Greenwald said.
"What we disclosed was of great public interest, of great importance in a democracy that the U.S. government is building this massive spying apparatus aimed at its own population, and it harms nobody. Anyone who wants to say that any of these stories or disclosures have harmed national security, I defy anybody to say anything that we've published that does that in any way. The only people who have been harmed are those in power who want to conceal their actions and their wrongdoing from the people to whom they're supposed to be accountable."
Greenwald also appeared to suggest that more disclosures are imminent. Greenwald wrote on Friday that more revelations were "coming shortly" and, later that day, broke a story on a tool wielded by the NSA to track surveillance data worldwide.
"Well, there are several programs that we've reported on so far and there's a lot more coming," Greenwald said on MSNBC.
Greenwald took to Twitter on Monday to assert that Snowden has "way, way more" than "just some slides" that detail the NSA's programs.

Again, as the discerning reader of this blog knows, Tek-Gnostics equates organized religion with organized politics. In our opinion,  politics and religion are but two ends of the same dirty stick. Decisions made by any religious hierarchy (read: elite) are as potentially damaging as those made by any political hierarchy. Hence, we believe that top-down political intrusion upon individual liberty is spiritually damaging to the individual. It is upon this understanding that we pay attention to, and report on political high jinks.

An old friend and associate of ours, agent 87, used to admonish that... "one should never underestimate the extent to which 'the bastards' will go... to screw you." This adage continues to hold true. The latest illegal activities of the NSA would never have come to light, except by the whistle-blowing activity of Snowden. Goodness knows what other nefarious black-op programs are under way... Even as we speak.

We shouldn't be surprised over these latest revelations concerning the NSA and their contractors/cronies. This is simply the most recent manifestation of the alarming trend away from, not only individual liberties, as expressed in the ideologies of republicanism... But societal liberty (greatest good for greatest numbers), as expressed in democratic ideology.

The Terrorism-Industrial Complex has been running roughshod... running amok, with absolutely no oversight... ever since 9/11. The United States has the highest documented incarceration (people in prison) rate in the world. At year-end 2009, it was 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population. Add this fact to the recent discovery that the NSA monitors all of our domestic telephone and Internet activity... something that the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper lied unabashedly about recently to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden... and the "good ole' US of A begins to look suspiciously like a police state.

One can only hope that the act of shining a light upon the darkness that is the so-called national security apparatus, will help to diminish it's grip upon our liberty. It was Martin Luther King, Jr who said... “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

One way or another... this darkness has got to give...