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Government Spies, Citizen Targets

June 18, 2013


Our government has developed an elite progressive data collection program sure to warm the bleeding heart of every liberal and chill the bones of every true conservative. The metadata store overshadows the concern over the growth of our national debt, which is considerable.  Its sudden revelation gives low-information Americans  another reason to question our leaders’ credibility, which was already miniscule.  Orwell’s Big Brother has come to fruition.  Government has the ability and wherewithal to seize and store each and every telephone call, every computer communication, and every website visit.   No need for a court order.  After-the-fact approval  by the overseer FISA Court is nearly automatic and absolute.  All in the name of security.

Even with our impressive technological developments, it’s hard to fathom such data gathering.  Some say it’s fiction.  But its existence has been reluctantly acknowledged by people in government who should know, and others who were not supposed to say, but did.  Its name: ‘PRISM’; appropriate, for it is translucent, but not transparent.  One can only guess what the acronym stands for:  “Personal  Repression Individual Suppression Malady” ?  “Patriot Revolt is Surely Manageable”?  “Pinheads Really Into Stupendous Mistakes”?  Probably Red in Some Manner?  I can hardly wait to learn.

According to alleged whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA and others have  impunity, immunity, and ability to  wiretap, record, and store emails, telephone calls, and personal data of every American, including the President, who retorted  that his administration had achieved “the proper balance between security and privacy,”  and that “No one is listening to your phone calls.”  Right.  Mr. Snowden’s privacy will from now on be out of balance and so will hope of any privacy for millions of other Americans.  As for the security part, considering recent terror events in Syria, Boston, and Fort Hood, the program itself should be called into question.  As Jase of Duck Dynasty mused after the State Human Resource Dept. visited Duck Commander Headquarters: ” I’m feeling more secure by the second.”

Hopefully, enough facts and few lies will emerge for America to decide whether Snowden should have disclosed the system and whether his statements and actions were heroic or treasonous.  But, I’m not sure whether he gave up anything we could not have figured out for ourselves.  After all, the terrorists have known since 2001 we were searching through their emails and telephone calls.  But  I thought our security people were watching  terrorists, not ordinary Americans.

A data mining program similar to PRISM was successfully used by the Obama re-election campaign, and the incumbent whizzed on past the Republican talking heads to win re-election.  Now, IRS has admitted to targeting for three years Tea Party groups and conservative taxpayers, a period that encompassed two elections.  The opposition camp was effectively stymied.  The results of the latest election, previously very questionable, are now entirely plausible.

Tracking phone numbers of terrorists is essential for national security.  But DOJ used the system against its own citizens NOT for associating with terrorists, but because they were news reporters who just might have learned something they shouldn’t have learned.  In the meantime, the terror attacks at Fort Hood, Benghazi, and the 2013 Boston Marathon were able to be carried out by jihadists.  I imagine Eric Holder was too busy spying on us.  Making matters worse, the Fort Hood event was classified as  “workplace violence”  and the Benghazi attacks were said by the administration to be caused by a video.  The fact of Major ‘Mujahadeen’ Hasan’s cries of “Allah Akbar” while slaying 13 fellow military persons, again terrorizing the nation, and the fact that the attack on the embassy in Benghazi occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks made no difference.

Our government treats the citizenry as enmeshed in stupidity.  These injustices are not only reprehensible, they are appalling to any reasonable individual.  The 4th Amendment stands guard against unreasonable searches and seizures.  Outcry over the PRISM  program promises to test the constitutional waters in today’s techno-crazy world.  But, that’s just the first issue.  Being administered by an untrustworthy government that is immersed in a rising ocean of lies and misdeeds is the second.  Our leaders and government cheerleaders beg for trust but do not return it.  While appearing  surprised about the lack of trust afforded them by the citizens, they only have themselves to blame.

Have government representatives been truthful and forthcoming about the Benghazi events?  about IRS targeting?  about Fast & Furious?  about Fort Hood?  about healthcare?  about the war on terror being over?  about the existence of PRISM itself?  Sadly and remorsefully, the answers are: no.  Adding insult to collective injury, government representatives in the State Department and the IRS were REWARDED and PROMOTED after being exposed as lying to Americans and targeting Americans with a particular political viewpoint.  Finally, after 4 1/2 years, transparency.

A new National Security Agency facility is under construction in Bluffdale, UT.  The massive multi-complex is said to have capacity of storing 5 zettabytes of data, an un-imaginable number.  Challenges  managing emails and intrusive phone calls and messages, so common to most of us, don’t bother our Big Brother and his Big Cousins in Washington.

The previously secret PRISM program flies in the face of the spirit of the 4th amendment.  What is particularly troubling is that hand-picked human elites will administer  it.  To give anyone the power to save or destroy others at will is Supreme power in our lifetime.  Whether a far left or far right administrator, the result will be the same: injustice to those with an opposing point of view.  Who would justly and fairly use that much power?   In my view, not anyone leading this government.

As this is being written, we await testimony before Congress of the head of the NSA.  He will defend the system, point to its necessity and its successes, and claim it is not being abused.  Which of us will believe him?

Fellow Americans, we are in over our heads, in more ways than one.

James A. Skeldon

Watertown, NY

yday 1

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