Just a couple observations regarding all this NSA stuff.
First of all, the main argument the government is using to justify vacuuming up massive amounts of personal communications is that they are only targeting communications where one party is a foreign national outside the country. Oh, really? Can someone please explain why I suddenly lose my 4th Amendment rights by simply talking to a citizen of another country? For that matter, who in government made the decision that the ordinary citizens of other countries have no right to privacy?
If Snowden were a Russian spy, Russia would be protecting him. If he were a Chinese spy, China would be protecting him. But Snowden chose to spy for the American people and they don’t even care enough to stand up for him. They’re more interested in what Justin Bieber is saying about Bill Clinton.
The reason European countries are not responding with anything beyond lip service to the revelations of NSA spying on its European allies is because they are all engaged in the same practice of domestic spying. While intelligence agencies agencies may face legal restriction on domestic spying, they can circumvent those restrictions when the data is collected by an intelligence agency of a partnering country. The last thing those countries want is for that capability to be exposed or interfered with. So, you can be sure that Europe does not see Snowden as someone worthy of protection.
Ever since Obama proclaimed that the U.S. will not take extraordinary measures to capture or kill Snowden, he has indeed been taking extraordinary measures. Of course, like most of Obama’s abuse of power, it is being done in secret, so we only see the clumsy outcomes after the fact. Sending his VP to intimidate Ecuador’s president not to take Snowden was an extraordinary measure. Telling European countries that the Bolivian President was smuggling Snowden out of Russia, ultimately leading to the forced landing the Bolivian President’s plane is an extraordinary measure. Later today, in yet another extraordinary measure, President Obama will talk directly with Putin by phone about Snowden. And those are only the ones we know about. The point here is that Obama lies, as do his lackeys.
Let us understand that the war on terrorism is not a justification to spy on Americans. It’s an excuse to spy on Americans. Just like government is the biggest threat to liberty, an actively engaged citizenry is the biggest threat to government power. Permitting government easy access to all domestic communications, makes effective activism virtually impossible because it subjects everyone to the potential for blackmail, a practice that the U.S. government has a history of engaging in. It allows government advanced notice of activist activities or gatherings so as to be able to engage in countermeasures.
If the U.S. government were really interested in fighting terrorism, they wouldn’t be looking for ways to spy on American citizens. They would target the root cause of terrorism which stems from perpetual U.S. military and espionage activities directed at other countries. Since WWII ended, the U.S. government has conducted 29 regime change actions throughout the world. It’s no coincidence that our government’s repeated targeting of middle eastern countries for these operations has sown powerful resentments in Muslim cultures. The U.S. has developed a history of perpetuating corrupt despotic governments and helped to bring down legitimate democratically elected heads of state. Terrorists don’t “hate us for our freedom”. They attack us because they have been on the receiving end of our aggression and interference for decades. What is surprising is not that they are retaliating. What’s surprising is that they waited this long. Terrorist attacks against the U.S. will continue to be a fact of life as long as the U.S. continues to engage in its own brand of terrorism around the world. In maintaining our aggression against these countries, terrorists will continue to target the U.S. and they will eventually acquire the capacity to inflict mass casualties. The only hope we have of avoiding that inevitability is to stop being their enemy, a strategy that neither democrats nor the republicans are willing to pursue. Why should they, when terrorism provides them an excuse to grow their own governmental power?