After studiously ignoring real, actual, promised, and eventually, materialized threats from a terrorist group that W's national secrutiny expert, Condi Rice never heard of, the United States reacts, over-reacts, and over-over-over-reacts and institutes a police state, beginning with HomeLand Scrutiny, the Tasered Scrutiny Authority, the Patriot Act (which is anything but), and last, but most definitely least, the Color Coded Threat ASSessment.
It took 8 months, but even conservative critics began to notice that any rise on color assessment board (which looked like it was designed by a TV game show producer) had nothing to do with actual, viable threats, but rather, it was raised anytime and every time that the Cheney Bush Administration faced a potential political nachtmare.
From the Church of Ineffable Stupidity
What have we learned recently?
1. The NSA lost a huge court battle, and was found to be acting unconstitutionally by the Secret FISA Court. The Obama administration is keeping this judgement secret, even though the secret court said, secretly, that it should be public and produced to all America. Even Congress has been denied the secret decision from the secret court, keeping this judgment secret about how the secretive NSA violated your and my rights. What makes this even more astounding is that FISA only hears one side of the story. If you are being targeted, you have no say against the AG's arguments, or the federal government's lies and misstatements, or failure to provide exculpatory information.
2. The NSA not only gathers and keeps data on your web and emails, it also tracks every single phone call of every single American. In fact, not only has the Obama Administration kept on every single W domestic surveillance program, it has expanded them.
3. Fear and distraction are great ways of keeping a difficult issue out of the media, and away from the public eye.
4. Some alleged threat now affects every US embassy, with 22 of them closing down. All foreign travelers have been warned about this so-called threat. Today, most sunday talk shows made sure that even the most casual observer would be compelled to feel fear. And distraction.
5. Most sunday talk shows discussed this unknown "threat" ignoring the news about the FISA court, or the nature and extent of domestic surveilance. That and the upcoming 58th vote on repealing Obamacare or how the GOP will shut down the government. Even if Snowden is mentioned, it is guaranteed that at least one spokesturkey will insist that he is a traitor and not a whistleblower, and the rest of the panel will refuse to challange that label.
6. the Obama mistreatment of whistleblowers far exceeds anything that the Cheney Bush administration ever did. Snowden's fear of returning to this country doesn't seem all that farfetched, given how Bradley Manning was tortured. What is so clear outside of our colonies is being ignored within our shores. Heck, even the Russkies had to insist that we won't torture or murder Snowden if they turn him over.
7. The Obama AG argues for even fewer protections for journalists, and the administration is pressuring congress to define "journalist" in ways that would destroy an internet journalistic efforts.
8. The Obama administration continues to lie to the American public, insisting that congress is fully informed about FISA and the NSA, despite every congressman and senator who answers the question, denies that they are getting any information from them.
9. Al Qaida is known to use disinformation and the world media to test US and our allies' reactions to various statements or threats. If this is simply a test, it clearly has worked.
10. Whenever the Obama administration is caught with its britches down, it firmly and forcefully over-reacts given even a shadow of a chance. (Benghazi, anyone? Firing federal employees when their statements are mangled and released out of context? there are many other examples)
11. My amp actually does go to 11.
12. Cloud computing providers report that their international business is crashing. Various bar associations must examine whether lawyers can even use cloud computing for their offices, because of the great probability that their data is being access and scrutinized by the feds - which causes every cloud computing attorney to be violating their oath to keep the attorney client privilege intact. Patent firms and companies are actively seeking better, more secure ways to save and use engineering and scientific data.
13. Several knowledgeable sources, all formerly with the NSA, the FBI, the Attorney General, or those intimately involved with FISA, repeatedly allege that daily, constant, and comprehensive domestic spying on 320,000,000 Americans has resulted in absolutely no actionable data that could catch terrorists or prevent terrorism. In simple terms, this turkey don't fly. Except Big Brother knows a lot more about you. The shear size of this program, combined with the probable fact that nothing good has come of this excessive, illegal, unconstitutional scrutiny by our own government, has to make one wonder about what has happened to this country.
It is possible that this threat is make-believe, ie, a test by Al Qaida. It is possible that the Obama administration is deliberating elevating a real threat for political reasons, allowing it to say, "See? all your worries about NSA activity is misplaced! Trust us!" It is possible that a real, serious, and deadly threat exists. It is possible that even our State DEpartment and the NSA are being played.
It is also possible that we are being played. I am almost embarrassed to say this, but the track record of keeping government transparent is not just poor, it is as black as coal dust.
I hope, for several reasons, that the threat was real, that the Obama administration's response is perfectly suited to it, and that no one is hurt, in great part because of a decent response. I hope that a pattern of misdirection, lies, and deceit, as well as a growing surveillance state is the exception, and not the norm for the land of the free and the home of the brave. I hope that the questions I raise, and the facts I list are simply circumstantial. I hope for a lot of things, but so far, my hopes have been dashed more often than not. Am I growing more cynical about the state of this country? In the words of teaBuggered star, You betcha.