In my latest column, I criticized Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for flipping and flopping on national security policy and moving between...
We the people deserve a government whose branches are not spying on each other, or us. We the need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on the issues surrounding the CIA-Senate spying controversy.
I worked closely with many FBI agents while I was a prosecutor in the Justice Department. Most were hard-working, devoted colleagues. But their boss, J. Edgar Hoover, was — as recent studies have disclosed — a very odd character.
The report of the working group advising President Obama about the future of NSA eavesdropping, along with the latest decision of a federal court that finds much of the NSA spying unconstitutional, inspires one conclusion: There should be a cutback in the overall level of NSA spying.
Retired Army colonel and historian-scholar at Boston University Andrew Bacevich has an intriguing take on the current conversation about secrecy.
“Thanks to a couple of tech-savvy malcontents, anyone with access to the Internet now knows what only insiders were supposed to know," he wrote in a book review in The Washington Post recently.
Because the public doesn’t know what insiders know, we can’t know whether Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden are patriotic whistle-blowers or treasonous leakers. I speculate neither description accurately characterizes their behavior.
Is the now-notorious, massive leak of National Security Agency classified information by Edward Snowden an act of valuable civil disobedience for which the American public should be grateful?
No less than the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, expressed distress to learn that the technology he helped develop was being used by the government (the National Security Agency) to invade people’s privacy. For bringing this to public attention, he considers Snowden a hero, he told The Daily Beast.
Or is Snowden’s action a hit-and-run act by an irresponsible fugitive, a traitor, and an attention seeker at that who appropriately was indicted and is being hunted down as he traverses the world, now a veritable man without a country?
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is in the extra-hot seat at the moment, what with the shocking news of the government dragnetting our phone calls and emails and Skype sessions, etc.
Calls for the President to deep-six the 72-year-old retired military officer are mounting. Clapper has not done well in trying to explain his apparent lie under oath at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last March. The exchange with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) went like this:
Wyden: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
Clapper: “No sir ... not wittingly.”
His subsequent justification of the answer, in an interview last Sunday with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, only made things worse:
It is ironic that when American civil liberties are under attack, the mechanism employed would be called a "patriot" act. It is equally ironic that when the final legacy of President Obama is written, it will include his championing of a surveillance state of a kind that that his predecessor, President George W. Bush, established over the objection at that time of Barack Obama.
Recently, Wall Street Journaleditorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz referred to the government of New York City as “totalitarian.” Obama apologist Paul Krugman said on ABC of the federal government this week: "We Are kind of an 'authoritarian surveillance state."
Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British newspaper The Guardian, said on CNN: “There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States but around the world.” And France 24 reports on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: The U.S. justice system was suffering from a “calamitous collapse in the rule of law.”
Big Brother is watching your taxes, following your travel, monitoring your email, counting your phone calls, photographing your car, spying on your shopping, invading your privacy, attacking your rights, shadowing your life and deciding whether you are on approved or disapproved lists.
Big Brother is big government united with big business. Big Brother is Barack Obama united with George W. Bush. Opposition to Big Brother unites Matt Drudge with conservative libertarians such as former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and liberal libertarians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Let's put Big Brother in Guantanamo, so long as there is a Guantanamo. When I worked for House Democratic leaders, I was in the loop on much of this secret stuff and know a lot but can say little about this subject.