Apr 192012
 April 19, 2012

All Seeing, All Listening Big Brother, The Newest American God

Big Bad Brother

“Admittedly, since 9/11 the U.S. Intelligence Community, as it likes to call itself, has expanded to staggering proportions.  With those 17 outfits having a combined annual intelligence budget of more than $80 billion (a figure which doesn’t even include all intelligence expenditures), you could think of that community as having carried out a statistical coup d’état…

… Bamford describes whistleblower William Binney, a former senior NSA crypto-mathematician “largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network,” as holding “his thumb and forefinger close together” and saying, “We are that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.”  Tom Engelhardt, Yottabytes, You, and the Infinitely Expansive National Security State

 Dumb, wasteful and abusive “Intelligence”

Thomas Drake joined Jesselyn Radack and James Bamford on Democracy Now! to discuss how billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to create redundant programs in the ever expanding National Paranoia State. Soon after he joined the National Security Agency, Drake saw that a $4 billion program called Trailbazer was chosen over an already existing, cheaper one. His internal appeals got him nowhere; and when he knew the NSA was breaching the 4th amendment and spying on Americans, he blew the whistle. Similarly, Jesselyn Radack left the Justice Department raising questions about illegal interrogation and torture after 9-11. Both whistleblowers suffered consequences for speaking up for truth.

James Bamford’s article in Wired discusses the extent of Big Brother’s tentacles on all aspects of our lives. He said,

“I wrote another book called A Pretext for War about how we got into the Iraq War. And I’ve been hearing this fear mongering, fear mongering, fear mongering forever. We’re spending enormous amounts of money on NSA to pick up communications. And even though they had all these failures during the 1990s, you know, failure after failure—the World Trade Center One and World Trade Center Two, the attack on the Cole, the East African embassies bombings—and even after they started all this rebuilding and more and more money, they still missed the person flying over on the Christmas Day flight to Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. They missed the person in Times Square. So, you know, all this eavesdropping we’re doing and all this money we’re spending, I don’t see an awful lot of value coming out of that. But I do hear tremendous amounts of fear mongering, that sort of nonstop fear mongering from the people that are pushing this agenda.”

Wired magazine reported that a few senators wrote the Justice Department asking clarification regarding the Patriot Act’s destruction of any privacy left for americans.  So the Orwellian Total Information Awareness program of the Bush era never changed much after all -it only became far, far larger.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the senators wrote:

“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted section 215 of the Patriot Act. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.”

Chris Hedges wrote about the lawsuit he filed with other plaintiffs, trying to reverse the NDAA. In an article, Hedges described Bamford’s revelations of the Utah’s All Seeing All Hearing mega center, as well as in the rest of the United States of Control:

“There are now 1,271 government agencies and 1,931 private companies that work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States, The Washington Post reported in a 2010 series by Dana Priest and William M. Arken. There are 854,000 people with top-secret security clearances, the reporters wrote, and in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2011. Investigative reporter James Bamford wrote … that the NSA has established listening posts throughout the country to collect, store and examine billions of email messages and phone calls.

If the National Defense Authorization Act is not reversed it will plunge us into despotism, leaving us without a voice, trapped in eddies of fear and terror, unsure of what small comment, what small action, could be misinterpreted to push us out of our jobs or send us to jail. This is the future before us. And we better fight back now while we can.”

What Constitution?

We might as well kiss goodbye certain parts of the U.S. Constitution. Oh, and what of innocent until proven guilty? That is a quaint notion, as Alberto Gonzales might say. With the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) President Obama signed into law in December 2011, anyone may get indefinitely arrested. Most unconscionable is that the enormous sums of money thrown at duplicating such surveillance programs could have been used instead on building a clean economy, based on renewable resources.

With priorities gone so wrong, other countries such as Germany are far ahead in solar production and other forms of clean energy, but in the U.S. half of the population will not even acknowledge the real danger of a heating planet. Without semi permanent, trillion dollar wars and this massive surveillance state, the US could have had a cleaner, rewired economy, as well as universal healthcare, Medicare, Pell grants and more.

In this 1984 world of 2012, the current state is eerily reminiscent of totalitarianism. The government can silence dissent, clamping down on protests as it did with the Occupy movement months ago. It can kill with drones, and imprison anyone at will, for as long as Big Brother wishes, or until hell freezes over. Which won’t happen anytime soon; but a hotter, hellish planet most likely will.