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Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:19AM
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

Why are the US intelligence services illegally and unconstitutionally spying on 300 million Americans, and exposing themselves to eventual prosecution, conviction, and execution? …Instant access to the private communications of everyone in the world offers the intelligence chiefs enormous power.”
It’s official: The US National Security Agency is spying on you. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden made headlines around the world this week by revealing that the American spy services are blatantly violating the US Constitution by spying on everyone. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states that the government may not search or seize anything without “due process of law” - meaning a court order specifically describing what they are looking for and why. Under the Constitution, if the US government wants to read your email or Facebook postings, listen to your phone calls, bug your house, or otherwise intercept your private communications in any way, it must request a search warrant from a judge. That request must present evidence of criminal wrongdoing; the judge then decides whether or not to issue the warrant. The NSA officials and their superiors in the executive branch who have chosen to violate the Constitution are committing a terrible crime. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Violating the Constitution is treason. And the penalty for treason is death. Why are the US intelligence services illegally and unconstitutionally spying on 300 million Americans, and exposing themselves to eventual prosecution, conviction, and execution? They claim they are “protecting us from terrorism.” But that claim is absurd. Even if 9/11 had been an actual terrorist attack rather than an inside job, terrorism still would be less of a threat to Americans than bathtub drownings and lightning strikes. So what is their actual motivation? In a word: Power. Instant access to the private communications of everyone in the world offers the intelligence chiefs enormous power. Today, that power is being used to maintain a “covert tyranny.” But some day in the not-so-distant future, as Edward Snowden recently told civil liberties expert Glenn Greenwald, the tyranny might become overt. The surveillance apparatus will be a “turn-key tyranny” system allowing a future leader or group to turn the key, achieve total control of all communications and openly install an absolute dictatorship beyond the worst nightmares of George Orwell. But why would they even need to turn the key? The current system of “covert tyranny” offers surveillance chieftains something approaching absolute power - a power that is even more effective because it is invisible. How does “covert tyranny” operate today? The intelligence czars have access to everyone’s private communications. They use that access to neutralize potential threats to their power. Here is how it worked in 1963: President John F. Kennedy’s phone was being tapped - unbeknownst to him - by the CIA. Kennedy believed he was keeping his peace initiatives secret from the CIA and the military. Unfortunately for him, the military and intelligence hard-liners were listening as Kennedy set up private back channels to Castro and Khrushchev, with the aim of ending the Cold War (and slashing the military and intelligence budgets). Additionally, the CIA’s counterintelligence chief - a paranoid lunatic and alcoholic named James Jesus Angleton - was a hard-line Zionist and Mossad asset. Angleton and his Zionist friends, including Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion, were not happy that JFK was making an all-out effort to shut down Israel’s incipient nuclear program. Based on the CIA’s secret surveillance of every move he made, JFK was deemed an “actionable threat to the national security.” The problem was resolved on November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza. JFK was only one of thousands of victims of US “national security assassinations.” Another instructive case is that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The FBI and CIA collaborated as they spied on every move Dr. King made. They surveilled and made tape recordings of his extra-marital affairs, and mailed the recordings to Dr. King and his wife, along with repeated suggestions that he kill himself. They harassed Dr. King in every imaginable way, with the aim of driving him to suicide, or at least destroying his effectiveness as an activist. But Dr. King stood up to the pressure. The more they spied on him and harassed him, the more strenuously he demanded an end to the Vietnam War. When Dr. King launched a plan to bring 500,000 people to Washington, DC and not leave until the war was ended and the poverty problem solved, US military intelligence, the CIA, and the FBI made the decision to end his life. The assassinations of the Kennedy brothers, Dr. King, and Senator Paul Wellstone are extreme examples of covert tyranny. Unlike Stalin, who openly shot his enemies, US intelligence chiefs use a thin veneer of “plausible deniability” to disguise their political executions. But for every threat to the intelligence chiefs’ power that is “neutralized” by execution, many thousands are neutralized in less extreme ways. With access to all private communications of all citizens, the covert tyrants can easily find ways to silence their opponents - or to “disable the purveyors of conspiracy theories” as Obama’s former information czar, Cass Sunstein, puts it. One obvious method is blackmail. Somewhere, in the many years’ worth of private communications you have made using email or the telephone, you probably said or wrote something that you are not very proud of. The National Security Agency is storing those emails and phone recordings. All they have to do to shut you up is have someone tap you on the shoulder and remind you what you wrote or said, and how sad it would be if your phone calls or emails were made public. Or maybe you have some vulnerability - some area in which you are especially sensitive, weak, open to persuasion, or vulnerable to being driven crazy. Guess what? The NSA knows all about that. They can profile you, and easily figure out how to neutralize you (or at least limit the threat you pose to them) simply by working with all of that information they’ve collected on you. After studying you carefully, they’ll know exactly which buttons to push, and how you’re likely to react when they push them. How do they know which people to target, out of 300 million Americans? They don’t have to do all that much data-sifting to figure it out. It’s actually fairly obvious which people are potentially effective organizers of, say, the Occupy movement. Those are the people they profile. Then they do a threat assessment. “Is this individual such a potentially effective organizer, or charismatic speaker, that he or she should be regarded as an ‘actionable threat’?” There are probably relatively few individuals who are deemed actionable threats. Why? Because only a few people possess the charisma, organizational skills, strategic intelligence, or other talents that pose a potential threat to the covert tyrants. And among the few actionable threats, only a tiny handful are so savvy, charismatic, well-placed, or in a position to command resources that they need to be dealt with violently. So when you say “Why should I care if they’re reading my email and listening to my phone calls, I have nothing to hide, and besides I’m not that important, anyway” you are probably correct. You probably aren’t smart enough, rich enough, connected enough, or committed enough to be worth bothering with. They’ve got all your mails. They’ve got all your phone calls. But they probably aren’t even taking the trouble to profile you - much less deem you an “actionable threat.” They reserve that for key people in the Occupy, 9/11 truth, anti-war, and black nationalist movements. The problem is not so much that you, personally, are in grave danger of having men in jackboots kick down your door and drag you off to a concentration camp. The problem is that you are living under tyranny. In some ways, the covert tyranny you are living under is worse than the overt, Stalinist variety. Under Stalin, at least everyone understood and privately acknowledged the truth. The covert tyrants are worse, because they get inside your head, make you censor yourself, make you live a lie. After all, you never know when they’re watching… though actually, since Edward Snowden went public, you do know: They are ALWAYS watching… just like Orwell’s Big Brother, only from behind a veil of plausible deniability. Since they own every communication you’ve ever made, resistance is futile. They could always dig up some of your old emails, spin them, alter them a little, make you look really bad, maybe even hit you with trumped-up charges and drag you through the courts and ruin your life. They could destroy your marriage. They could turn your kids, or your parents, against you. They could destroy your career - as they destroyed my academic career when they profiled me, decided they would use me as an example to scare other college professors into staying away from 9/11 truth, and launched a political witch-hunt. If absolutely necessary, they could figure out your routine, and send a pro to assassinate you, as easily as you would swat a fly. Resistance is futile. That’s the message the covert tyrants are sending you every moment of every day. Are you okay with that? Or are you going to stand with Edward Snowden - and say that life under tyranny is pointless, and that risking everything, including our lives, is the only sane response to the insanity of the covert tyrants? KB/HSN
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