Tag Archive: spying

Jun 07 2013

I Don’t Care What the Excuse Is!

Originally posted at Voices on the Square

I’m so pissed i could spit, so consider this rant my virtual spitting.

I don’t care if the president is a registered Democrat – I’m not gonna play cutesy semantic games because of it. And I don’t care who started it – I’ve been pissed for a looong time about this. Now there is undeniable proof that all of our fears – fears that many of us were vocal about for more than a decade now – over what the Patriot Act could be used for are, in fact, well grounded and not some tin foil conspiracy theory. And don’t get me wrong – this is SPYING on the entire populace. Period. They may not have listened to your phone calls – YET – but they have no legitimate reason to have scooped them all up in the first place. None. This kind of overreach is EXACTLY the kind of thing (at least in spirit) the founders had in mind when they put that Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

I don’t care that technology makes it easy to do. We have a need for privacy and there is a pretty clear penumbra of privacy in the Bill of Rights. No need for privacy you say? How far do you think the Founders would have gotten if the British government did this kind of spying? How many slaves would have been able to be moved through the Underground Railroad if government had had this level of legal access to all communications?

Yeah – I don’t care if it was legal. 15 years ago it was not legal and would have been considered an affront to our Constitutionally guaranteed (a guarantee that seems quaint and antiquated now) civil liberties. That the Big Brother government has managed to tailor a law to allow them to legally get away with suspect behavior does not make it a good thing or an ethical thing. Tailoring a law to make behavior legal is what the Bush Admin did with torture. And lest we all forget – slavery was legal once too…

I don’t care if some companies have access to that information. My phone company has an interest in having my phone records – they bill me for them. The government on the other hand has no legitimate vested interest in my phone records. Marketing firms track my web surfing, fine. It bothers me, but they don’t have much power over me at all. Government on the other hand has an exponentially large amount of power over me and history is littered with examples of governments exercising that power in myriad negative ways. So yeah, companies have various facets of this info on me, but now government has the legality and apparently the want to have ALL of these various facets of information on me. Like a dossier, we all have our own private FBI file now – and not for bad or suspect behavior – just for simply existing in this country.

So our Big Brother government HAS to SPY on all of our phone calls in order to make us “safe”. God Orwell would be rolling over in his grave if he saw how much life was imitating art.

Apr 26 2013

From Spies to Assassins: The CIA Since 9/11

The original mission of the Central Intelligence Agency was to provide national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it “no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad“.

The primary function of the CIA is to collect information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and to advise public policymakers, but it does conduct emergency tactical operations and carries out covert operations, and exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.

There has been considerable criticism of the CIA relating to: security and counterintelligence failures, failures in intelligence analysis, human rights concerns, external investigations and document releases, influencing public opinion and law enforcement, drug trafficking, and lying to Congress.

The Way of the Knife: NYT’s Mark Mazzetti on the CIA’s Post-9/11 Move from Spying to Assassinations

In his new book, “The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth,” Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti tracks the transformation of the CIA and U.S. special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war. The book’s revelations include disclosing that the Pakistani government agreed to allow the drone attacks in return for the CIA’s assassination of Pakistani militant Nek Muhammad, who was not even a target of the United States. Mazzetti’s reporting on the violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan – and Washington’s response – won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. The year before, he was a Pulitzer finalist for his reporting on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. [includes rush transcript]

Jul 13 2010

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – The Real Costs of Fossil Fuels

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, Comics.com (Idiot Box)

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