Sunday, October 27, 2013

... it's a long way from being over...

The Guardian has been slowly releasing information provided by Edward Snowden on the illegal  NSA warrant-less wiretapping and spying.

The New Yorker magazine recently published an interesting article about the Guardian.  I learned that the Guardian was advised to publish information at a much slower pace than the Wikileaks information dump that was made several years ago.  With the Wikileaks dump, there was too much information in the the State Department memos to be properly understood and digested all at once.  The reason for the slower release of the NSA spying information is, in part, to allow time for the press to absorb, discuss, and for people to understand what is being presented. 

However one looks at it, this puts to rest any claim by defenders of the US and it's three letter agency activities that "we've seen this all before", or that "this has been going on for hundreds of years."  As "pitchpipe" over on Slashdot said recently in the comments section of an article about the wiretapping -

 "First, you say that warrantless wiretaps have been going on for a very long time. Maybe they have, but they were certainly never standard operating procedure. Good hell they're warrantlessly wiretapping EVERYBODY these days. And back then they never came out and said,"Hey, we're doing warrantless wiretaps, and if you don't like it you can fuck right off" like they do now.

Second, saying it's been going on like this for hundreds of years makes it sound like it'll always be this way, so you might as well do nothing. It also lends it an air false legitimacy: "If the founding fathers were doing it it must be okay.""

With this as background, and with the Guardian's promise of further revelations (metered at a dose level we can absorb and understand), I believe the best is yet to come.

Remember Angelica Merkel's outrage just two days ago over the NSA having her phone number in their "Rolodex?"  Remember how she personally called Mr. Obama in a livid outrage?  Well, it just got better.

The Guardian reports today that the American three letter agencies have been spying on her for over ten years.

Spin and defend this new information however you like, the situation between "friends" in Europe and North America just got worse.

Jude asked many times if we knew when it was time to "get out."

When did the Romans know, in their heart of hearts, that their Empire was well and truly lost?  Was it when the Goths crossed the Danube river?

When did the East Germans throw up their hands and accept that everyone was spying on everyone else, that the STASI ran the place, and that every aspect of their lives were under constant surveillance, if not outright threat?

When would a frog know the water was about to boil in a pot of slowly heating water?  Some frogs are known to have had the good sense to jump out of the pot before they were boiled.
Monitoring the US media for any sign of understanding of the gravity of the situation, I feel the need to return to a prior observation.  Americans remain completely and utterly distracted by sports, celebrity sex-lives, "reality" TV, fundamentalist religious beliefs, and seem to revel in "not having to know everything" about the world around them.

From the looks of things, we got out of the US just in time.

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