The NSA’s metastasised intelligence-industrial complex is ripe for abuse

Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson write: Let’s be absolutely clear about the news that the NSA collects massive amounts of information on US citizens – from emails, to telephone calls, to videos, under the Prism program and other Fisa court orders: this story has nothing to do with Edward Snowden. As interesting as his flight to Hong Kong might be, the pole-dancing girlfriend, and interviews from undisclosed locations, his fate is just a sideshow to the essential issues of national security versus constitutional guarantees of privacy, which his disclosures have surfaced in sharp relief.

Snowden will be hunted relentlessly and, when finally found, with glee, brought back to the US in handcuffs and severely punished. (If Private Bradley Manning’s obscene conditions while incarcerated are any indication, it won’t be pleasant for Snowden either, even while awaiting trial.) Snowden has already been the object of scorn and derision from the Washington establishment and mainstream media, but, once again, the focus is misplaced on the transiently shiny object. The relevant issue should be: what exactly is the US government doing in the people’s name to “keep us safe” from terrorists?

Prism and other NSA data-mining programs might indeed be very effective in hunting and capturing actual terrorists, but we don’t have enough information as a society to make that decision. Despite laudable efforts led by Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall to bring this to the public’s attention that were continually thwarted by the administration because everything about this program was deemed “too secret”, Congress could not even exercise its oversight responsibilities. The intelligence community and their friends on the Hill do not have a right to interpret our rights absent such a discussion. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “The NSA’s metastasised intelligence-industrial complex is ripe for abuse

  1. rosemerry

    Thanks to these two important witnesses. All the lies about “national security” mean that normal humans are being treated as criminals in all aspect of their lives. I suppose it is “secure” to be locked up for life in a US prison like 2.3 million others, but it is not exactly the “land of the free” we are all supposed to admire.

  2. delia ruhe

    Any wonder *1984* is flying off the shelves at Amazon? I’d reread it myself, if it weren’t so relentlessly depressing. The real world is depressing enough at the moment.

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