By Amy Alkon
shared this story
from Advice Goddess Blog.
The Surveillance State Lives — Thanks To The Subservience State
Subservient to politicians’ self-interest — and that’s politicians left and right.
Sheldon Richman writes at reason:
In sizing up Obama’s “reforms” of the indiscriminate gathering of data on every American, remember this: Politicians will do everything they can get away with in pursuit of their own agenda. To them, liberty and privacy are unimportant, things to be gotten around with the minimum of public attention. Should the public get wind of some untoward thing the politicians are up to — as it did, thanks to Edward Snowden — they will put on a public-relations show to lull the people back to sleep, enabling the state once again to go about its unsavory business unobserved.
That is what’s happening here. As Glenn Greenwald aptly put it, Obama’s “defining value to the permanent power factions that run Washington” is that he “prettifies the ugly; he drapes the banner of change over systematic status quo perpetuation; he makes Americans feel better about policies they find repellent without the need to change any of them in meaningful ways. He’s not an agent of change but the soothing branding packaging for it.”
Thus, the appropriate attitude toward the so-called reforms is deep skepticism. You want evidence? Obama expressed confidence “in the integrity of those who lead our intelligence community.” He has apparently forgotten that the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, told a boldfaced lie to a Senate committee when he said “No, sir” to this question from Sen. Ron Wyden: “Does the [NSA] collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” (Clapper later explained that this was the “least untruthful” answer he could give.) Obama’s spokesman said the president “certainly believes that Director Clapper has been straight and direct in the answers he’s given.”
Obama’s own veracity must also be questioned. In his speech he said that when he was a senator he was critical of the George W. Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping. But if that’s true, why did he vote for the 2008 FISA law, which, as Greenwald notes, “legalized the bulk of the once-illegal Bush program”?
The assumption I like to make is this: Assume all politicians are self-interested sleazebags until one repeatedly behaves in ways that suggest otherwise.
And frankly, if you think any differently, you are too naive to be voting.