Skip to main content

Serious questions have been raised regarding the surveillance programs employed by the United States government, based on reporting and information that has been leaked by sources and by statements and information released by the government itself in response. The reporters on the matter have been doing careful work, well sourced and based on the reported record. As a result of this careful work, the hostility of the government regarding the reporting has been overwhelmed by public concern, both from public officials and the electorate.

This careful work has led to a serious debate and hopefully, much needed reform.

If instead of taking this careful approach, the reporting and commenting on the subject had instead fallen into irresponsible "just asking questions" conspiracy theory mongering, it is my view that these legitimate issues would have been dismissed.

At one time, Daily Kos enforced, both through community norms, and subsequently, through site rules, an anti-CT diary policy, with the following quote capturing the policy -"extraordinary claims and theories require extraordinary proof."

The genesis of this approach sprang from the desire to have the site be an effective activist mechanism for arguing for change and organizing for change. The issue gained prominence in 2004, after John Kerry lost a close election to George W. Bush, and some groups and persons were claiming that the election was stolen in Ohio through electronic fraud, an extraordinary claim.

Many of us were skeptical, to say the least, of the claims. We believed that voter suppression was the issue that required our attention and that unsupported claims of electronic voting fraud were not only outlandish and unsupported, but counterproductive to addressing the issue of voter suppression.

It is my view that outlandish unsupported claims regarding alleged actions of the government intelligence services are also counterproductive to addressing and arguing for real reform in this area.

I hope that folks who share the goal of addressing the issues of the government's surveillance activities takes this into account when they decide to support unsubstantiated and unsupported  speculation regarding actions of the government intelligence agencies.

"I'm just asking questions" is no defense for this type of behavior, as the counterproductive effects far outweigh the discussion that ensues.

Does the site still adhere to the anti-CT view? I believe it should. But I speak for me only not for the administration of the site.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site