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View Diary: The NSA as an existential crisis, except it's not really about the NSA (92 comments)

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  •  I wish I could agree with this. (2+ / 0-)
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    Ozymandius, emal

    I've decided to only rec diaries about the NSA revelations until things change in some way.  Yes, other things are important, but this is the most important issue by far for me right now, because it ties straight back to the torture regime of the Bush administration (and I'm STILL not sure we've stopped doing it -- Obama has lied before).

    BUT...

    I think we're trying too hard to tie things together.  The corporatist problem within the Democratic Party establishment is a HUGE problem.  I just don't think it ties directly (and maybe not even indirectly) to this problem.  I don't think Booz Allen or the Carlyle Group is the problem here.

    I think that it's just the culture of the establishment, the insiders, those who are inside, looking out at the rest of us, perhaps with some benign elitist sense that their peer group understands things better than the rest of us do.  If you go along with this idea, the NSA spying thing has less to do with corporate profits and more with the hubris of our own politicians, both right and left, and our own media, which thinks things are done this way for good reason.

    And, too, all the lifers with their fingers in a permanent circle from holding their coffee cups at work who work day in and day out for the NSA and for Homeland Security and Booz Allen and whomever, who become used to the classified way of life, who think "Yes, we're spying on American citizens and hiding secrets from them, but it's all for their own good."

    Our own president is one of those people.  The vice president is too.  Many of our senators are, and, in fact, probably most Democrats on the Intelligence committees.  Because God knows, the establishment protects itself and they're not going to allow any really loose cannons anywhere near the new family jewels.

    They are so deep inside this bubble that, I think, they are baffled by our reaction to this.  And they are afraid of it.  So afraid that they have gone over the deep end in their reaction to Snowden.  Snowden has put America at risk, because he has informed America.  Such a strange formulation, but when you start from that kind of patronizing position, yeah, I guess it makes sense.  When the knowledge of the American people is a danger to the people who see themselves as America's last line of defense, then anything that threatens to inform us about their activities is dangerous.

    So, I'd love to tie this all in to Wall Street, but I just don't see it that way.

    AND... I wouldn't be very surprised if we actually see some pushback against the administration from Wall Street at some point.  This might be all very fine and profitable for Booz Allen, but it threatens to destroy Microsoft and Apple and a number of other big tech industry corps whose global reputation is being ruined and their sales and future prospects foreshortened.  There is a serious prospect that down the line, other countries are going to say fuck this, and start their own separate Internet with their own backbones and tech industry opportunities just to serve those international corporations that don't trust the American NSA to not fuck them over.

    I hope that's what happens.  If I were Apple or Microsoft or Google, I'd be really fucking mad at the Obama administration right now.

    •  But the politicians have lost control (2+ / 0-)
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      Einsteinia, adrianrf

      They don't want to admit that even to themselves.  You can see that in the absurd claim the Congress is providing oversight to these intelligence programs.  They are not!   Congress is being manipulated, kept in the dark, and just generally lead around by the nose by the Cheney types who know where are all the bodies are buried.  

      Congress is lazy, gullible, corrupt and entirely ineffective.  So the power vacuum has been filled with corporate power and Congress doesn't have a clue how to get their power back.  

      •  The U.S. misusing the Internet thru cyberhacking (2+ / 0-)
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        Einsteinia, Dumbo

        and spying makes as little sense as it would have made for Victorian Britain to build submarines.  Victorian Britain had the sense to realize that submarines threatened the source of its dominance, maritime commerce, and to avoid encouraging other countries' threatening that dominance by their own building of submarines (thus leading other countries to do the same).

        We have made uniquely massive commercial use of the Internet, and have thus made ourselves uniquely vulnerable to aggressive misuse of the Internet.  And then we went ahead and did it first ourselves, with Stuxnet.  Stuxnet was as massive a strategic blunder as I think I have ever seen.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:18:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe it's corporate power. (0+ / 0-)

        More like, "Welcome to the 'we get to spy on everybody else' club, just for the cool kids.  You do want to be a member, right?"

        For people in government who go into politics for the status and the need to be loved by lots of people, for people in government who don't REALLY have strong convictions on a lot of this, for people who absorb their convictions from those closest around them, that's probably irresistible.

        That's just a part of the problem though.  That's why our politicians go along with this shit.  People like Diane Feinstein seem pleased as shit with their status on the foreign intelligence committee, and they didn't get their by being troublemakers.

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