Sorry for the light posting. In brief:
No less a figure than Jimmy Carter has said that the monstrously obtrusive technology wielded by the NSA means that the United States no longer has a functioning democracy
. Moreover, Carter says that Snowden's whistleblowing activities have been helpful
, and have done nothing to harm national security.
After all, how can there be effective congressional oversight on the NSA when the NSA can scoop up every email and phone conversation involving your congressional representatives? The blackmailed are "overseeing" the blackmailers.
We have further indications that Michael Hastings' mysterious death may be related to the NSA scandal
-- specifically, to Barrett Brown, Endgame, and HB Gary. More on this later.
Fortunately, a pro-privacy organization has sprung up, and it is devoted to fixing the NSA mess. The groups is called the Constitutional Rights Association
. I like the name and the website imagery: These people obviously hope to appeal to Americans all across the political spectrum. This issue is one on which Ron Paul libertarians and old school liberals like myself can, should and must
In other areas, I can't stand the Paulies, and I'm sure they have no high regard for Big Gubmint, Ayn-hating "socialists" like me. But privacy gives us a common issue.
Only a mass movement can bring about the necessary laws.
(For starters: How about a law which forces all cell phones to include a way to turn off the freakin' GPS?
We need to end horrors like this
. And puh-leeze
don't give me any bullshit stories about how GPS tracking can save lost hikers. If there's an on/off switch on all phones manufactured in the future, hikers can flip the swtich to "on." Simple-dimple.)
If we need a Constitutional amendment, then by God, that's what we should go for.
You don't build a mass movement by excluding
millions of people, even if they are the kinds of people you might not want to invite to your next brie-and-tofu party.
You also don't build a movement by trafficking in defeatism.
Many people will tell you: "Don't bother trying; the game's already over and the bad guys won." The people who say these words may be mere cynics -- or maybe they are lazy bastards using a haughty cynicism to disguise laziness. But they could also be infiltrators and sock puppets.
(We need a new term for "agent provocateur." The term should include those who provoke in
Here is the press release for the Constitutional Rights Association:
Grandville, Mich. (MMD Newswire) July 17, 2013 -- The Constitutional Rights Association, Inc. a new nonprofit corporation, announced today that it has been formed for the purpose of engaging the public in a campaign to end mass surveillance of the American public by the NSA and other governmental agencies. These mass surveillance campaigns, which are being coordinated by the NSA, were partly revealed and disclosed by former NSA systems administrator, Edward Snowden.
The mass surveillance and long term storage of surveillance data is known to include the cell phone Meta data for every phone call made or received by US citizens. This information about our phone calls is being uploaded on a daily basis from the phone companies to the NSA. While these programs are classified, reports in the media indicate that the NSA may also be collecting and storing, without a search warrant, all emails, twitter, facsimile and other electronic communications of all Americans,.
These domestic spying programs are conducted without a warrant or probable cause and therefore violate the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. The NSA domestic spying programs are unconstitutional.
These programs have the potential to destroy our nation by changing the way we view ourselves and our relationship to government.
The Association intends to file for 501(c)4 status and plans to engage and reproach political candidates who support unconstitutional domestic spying programs, by informing the public of their positions and the potential consequences for our democracy.
Our Association was formed because there is an absence of leadership on this critical issue. This absence is the result of leading figures in both major political parties having been complicit in the creation and continuation of these secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the normal checks and balances which have traditionally kept this kind of government abuse at bay, are breaking down.
The Constitutional Rights Association is preparing to launch a public awareness campaign to inform the public of the danger posed by the NSA's violation of the US Constitution.
Two facts will slowly sink in: 1) We are all under continuous surveillance by our government and, 2) the surveillance is being recorded and stored so that it can be accessed later by keyword. These two facts will change our view of ourselves. This will no longer be the land of the free and the home of the brave. We will become a land where we are afraid of our own shadows.
These mass surveillance and domestic spying programs are like a leak in the face of a very large dam; If not quickly repaired, it will destroy the dam.
Already some people are becoming afraid to engage in political speech because the government is watching and keeping records. That view may be a bit paranoid now. .. But in the next couple of years as it really sinks in that everything that we do and say may be kept on electronic file by the NSA: every phone call, email, text message, photograph, this now irrational fear will spread. We will slowly lose our right of free speech to fear. This will happen even if the government never uses the data.
What if, in a few of those keyword indexed phone calls or emails, you had expressed some significant disagreement with a government official? Think for a moment what the leader of North Korea could do with this technology. Through keyword indexing he could have his NSA round up everyone who had ever said anything bad about him.
People in third world countries try to stay out of politics, and they try to never express an opinion that could be "misinterpreted." Are we going to live that way too in a few years?
Let us use the strength of our voices now while we can. Let us speak up now while the danger is at its weakest.
This press release and the formation of the Constitutional Rights Association is a call to action. We are calling on the American people to learn more about this critical issue to use our voices to say the most important word that a free people can say to their government: "No!"
If readers know of any other organizations doing this kind of work, please send links. I'm going to advertise these groups on this humble blog.