Greenwald on the NSA

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It's a lesson I should have learned by now: don't write a post on national security stories until making use of Glenn Greenwald's excellent research. Case in point: the latest NSA revelations, which Greenwald analyzes with his usual incisiveness:

Every time new revelations of illegal government spying arise, the same exact pattern repeats itself:

(1) euphemisms are invented to obscure its illegality ("overcollection"; "circumvented legal guidelines"; "overstepped its authority"; "improperly obtained");

(2) assurances are issued that it was all strictly unintentional and caused by innocent procedural errors that are now being fixed;

(3) the very same members of Congress who abdicate their oversight responsibilities and endlessly endorse expanded surveillance powers in the face of warnings of inevitable abuses (Jay Rockefeller, Dianne Feinstein, "Kit" Bond, Jane Harman) righteously announce how "troubled" they are and vow to hold hearings and take steps to end the abuses, none of which ever materialize;

(4) nobody is ever held accountable in any way and no new oversight mechanisms are implemented;

(5) Congress endorses new, expanded domestic surveillance powers; and then:

(6) new revelations of illegal government spying emerge and the process repeats itself, beginning with step (1).

Greenwald asks, "If that isn't the picture of a rampant, lawless Surveillance State, what is?" and the answer isn't a pretty one for Democratic partisans who wish that only Republicans were guilty of such perfidy.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on June 18, 2009 5:42 PM.

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