Don't worry, we only spy on terrorists (worry, because everyone we don't like is a "terrorist")


#1

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#2

...just as everyone used to be a Communist in the Fabulous Fifties.


#3

I guess you could call austerity a kind of terrorism, but the administration hasn't bothered to call the EU terrorist yet. They still spied on them though.

I think the even more alarming trend is to openly admit spying, then look at you like you're dumb for being appalled. "Oh you didn't know we spy on the EU? P.S. nations spy on each other." <----that's the official White House position on the matter. HAVE SOME SHAME AT LEAST


#4

Teensy bit of a difference when you talk about nation states spying versus nation states spying on their own citizens, doncha think?


#5

It's both telling and somewhat disgusting about how people are pretty much only concerned about the American government spying on American citizens.

Did we forget that PRISM is a program built to spy on foreign nationals, and that US citizens are bought in by connections to them, accidental or no? Is it okay to spy on us, just because we weren't born where you were? Oh yes, it's terribly unconstitutional, it's against the founding principles of your nation, but outside of our little geographic area, it's open season?

How does it go again? Oh yeah - We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, unless you're foreign in which case you can fuck right off, you don't have rights.


#6

Maybe this is because I'm too young to remember anything from the cold war that wasn't in a spy novel, and therefore have an unrealistically genteel view of spies, but I do think some spying (military and political espionage) is nothing to be ashamed about nor that the people doing it are necessarily doing anything shameful. It may even prevent certain types of dangerous misunderstandings between countries. If it is a game, everyone in that game knows they are playing it. If you are a politician or a defense contractor or a bonafide terrorist you know people are trying to find out what you know, as they should be. But indiscriminate filtering/scanning of everyone and everything is a different issue, and I think surveillance apologists are deliberately conflating the two. One is worth more shame than the other.


#7

"You're either with us or with the terrorists", said the son of a legitimately elected USA president (1992 - 96). So if you disagree with us spying on terrorists... wait for it... you're a terrorist! Sounds absurd, but that's the convoluted logic these people manufacture all the time.


#8

I do think some spying (military and political espionage) is nothing
to be ashamed about nor that the people doing it are necessarily doing
anything shameful.

OK, just be aware that apologists for domestic spying use the exact same justification.


#9

It's become a cliché to reference Orwell in discussion of government overreach, but he was especially right when talking about the power of language as a means to prevent thought.

Political language has to consist largely of euphemism,
question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful, and murder respectable.


#10

I would like to see how much happy US would be if Brazil, India, [insert here your backwater, third-world, banana republic] said "hey, we have this cool net server used by americans and ALL YOUR INFO ARE BELONG TO US!".


#11

As someone who lived through most of the period of governmental hysteria and overreach that followed on the fear of Communism, I can attest that the current hysteria surrounding anything labeled "terrorism" is exactly the same phenomenon.

It's a dandy excuse to rev up the money-spending by secretive governmental agencies which are hidden in the appropriations process, it generates billions in revenue for the existing military contractors, provides plenty of opportunity for demagoguery, and it excuses all types of abuse of the Bill of Rights while the hysteria lasts. Even well-meaning politicians are afraid to buck the tide until the hysteria dies down, for fear of being labeled as appeasers.

Sadly, history repeats itself, fear mongers are ever ready to exploit the situation, and sheep are willingly led to the slaughter.


#12

Good gravy, where's our modern day McCarthy? I want that person outed and destroyed.

It seems as though there are segments of the government that really, really miss the "good old days" of mutually assured nuclear destruction. I'll admit, times were simpler than and real terrorism was largely put in a chokehold by proxy wars (with the huge exception of sectarian terrorism in Europe). All the same, I'm tired of Interesting Times, it seems like nearly my entire life has been lived under this curse.


#13

I think the intelligence community rationale goes something like this:
the only way to catch all possibilities of terrorist activity - since we don't know who is and who isn't a terrorist -- is to suspect everybody of being a terrorist. Therefore, we surveil everybody.


#14

That's an exception of such size as to invalidate the idea that terrorism was choked at all, even if you don't include e.g. the PLO, Sendero Luminoso, and so on.


#15

sure, you can spy on your own people as much as you want, but let us others alone /s


#16

I believe we aren't concerned nearly as much about the U.S. spying on foreign nations because we don't see the consequences as being the same. If the U.S. is caught spying on a foreign nation, for example, it might affect trade and other relations with them. If we're shown the U.S. is spying on us, it's own people, what are the consequences?

Mind you I think the People of the U.S. could make change happen in this regard, but not enough are reacting to it negatively. By all appearances is looks like Holder and Co. are moving on Zimmerman at the federal level because enough of Us are acting on a national level in a negative way. If 90% of the People thought Snowden was a hero and took the NSA's moves as truly illegal and unconstitutional, something would more likely be happening to stop it. It could be a wrong observation on my part, but it does truly seem the government moves when the people react...


#17

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