Dim Awareness of “a grave sense of betrayal” on Snooping

This post is available in audio format as a DayPage from Radio InfoWeb


In reporting found in today’s New York Times (found at the bottom of an article entitled “Momentum Builds Against N.S.A. Surveillance”), I found the following:

Ms. Lofgren [Zoe Lofgren (Chairman of House Ethics Committee 2009–2011)] said the White House and Democratic and Republican leaders had not come to grips with what she called “a grave sense of betrayal” that greeted Mr. Snowden’s revelations. Since the Bush administration, lawmakers had been repeatedly assured that such indiscriminate collection of data did not exist, and that when targeting was unspecific, it was aimed at people abroad.

In its understated, and sometimes blundering way, the Times, if not Ms. Lofgren, has put its finger on what I believe to be the heart of the issue. The “sense of betrayal” is the bottom line of public sentiment from all quarters. Even the most paranoid among us couldn’t have imagined in 2001 or 2002 the extent of surveillance that would emerge post 9/11. However, concern about privacy issues was considered “fringe” until Edward Snowden’s documentation made it hard for the government to continue its denials. The Emperor’s New Clothes had been revealed. The “mainstream” was now forced to come to grips with an issue they’d been in denial over for the past decade or so.

The American public wants to believe the lies the government pours forth in an unending stream. They have an investment in their government, and thus want to believe it is a good one. But, wishing for a thing does not make it so. Americans have a great resistance to seeing the corruption, greed, and criminality in their government. It takes a strong case to shine through the smoke and haze, and it appears that Edward Snowden’s released documents finally made the case that will turn the tide of opinion of the American public.

Still, buyer’s remorse looms large in America’s consumer society. Americans may still choose to blindly embrace their corrupt and nearly bankrupted government rather than face the truth with all its consequences. Should that happen, there will come another tide, and then another. The rising waters of accumulated megalomania and neglect are drowning the current generation of despots. What will replace them?

Zimmerman Verdict

With all the concern about reactions, protests, or even violence in the wake of the Zimmerman trial, my own worry is that the average American no longer comprehends the justice system, or how it works (on those occasions when it works like it’s supposed to). Had Zimmerman been found guilty, he would most certainly have appealed after a cooling-off process. In today’s politically driven prosecution system, he may well be tried again. Until our often unfair and corrupt government and judicial system are overturned, possibly with bloodshed in the process, there is one other alternative: register, and vote. Get the laws and the process changed, if that’s the desire. There seems to be no taste for the larger scale corrective action, so protesters would be well advised to channel their energy into registering and voting. If they can get that together. Sometimes I really wonder.

Here’s a DayPage segment I hosted today for Radio InfoWeb that presents, unedited, the two 911 calls that led up to this:

Play Audio
Play http://daypage.net/ar/DayPage~2013-07-14~Zimmerman_Verdict.mp3

Journalism Criminalized: Barrett Brown and More

Here’s a DayPage I did for this morning on RadioInfoWeb. Give it a listen, click on the link just below. I talk about my first experiences with repression of journalists when I was “jailed” (banished to the library) in Elementary School for criticizing school administrators in my independent school newspaper.

DayPage for July12, 2013: Journalism Criminalized from Elementary School…

The story of Barrett Brows minus my tale of journalistic repression in Elementary School in long form from DemocracyNow! Can be viewed here:

All the past editions of DayPage are archived at DayPage.net

What’s going on? Check out RadioInfoWeb if you’re a news junkie and have broad, eclectic tastes in music.

Leaker Crackdown: Govt Employees Told to Tattle on Coworkers

From DemocracyNow! Filed under: “War on Truth” “War on Freedom” and “War on Citizens”

As the media focuses almost exclusively on Edward Snowden’s possible whereabouts, more details on the Obama administration’s crackdown on whistleblowers have come to light. A new investigative report has revealed the administration’s crackdown on leaks extends far beyond high-profile cases like Snowden or the Associated Press, to the vast majority of government agencies and departments — even those with no connection to intelligence or national security. For nearly two years, the White House has waged a program called “Insider Threat” that forces government employees to remain on the constant lookout for their colleagues’ behavior and to report their suspicions. It targets government officials who leak any information, not just classified material. All of this leads McClatchy to warn: “The [Insider Threat] program could make it easier for the government to stifle the flow of unclassified and potentially vital information to the public, while creating toxic work environments poisoned by unfounded suspicions and spurious investigations.” We’re joined by the reporter who helped break the story, Jonathan Landay, senior national security and intelligence reporter for McClatchy Newspapers. Landay also discusses his reporting that revealed how drone strikes carried out in Pakistan over a four-year period ran contrary to standards set forth publicly by President Obama.