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Response to magellan (Reply #29)

Sat Jul 13, 2013, 12:03 PM

50. Yes.


This relentless kind of questioning should happen no matter who's in the WH.

But I think that Snowden's desperation to get his story out drew a lot of attention to what he was saying. I now realize that others said this during the Bush era, but it didn't hit home with me.

I also think the press is beginning to realize what this program means for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

As I stated before, I am particularly aware of the meaning of this because I was born during WWII, went to grade school with some refugees, traveled in Europe and then lived near the border of Eastern Europe in several places. I know how people are silenced. The government that silences them always justifies it by some external or internal threat. First comes the surveillance, then the control and then it is too late.

I don't think this is Obama's fault. I think this program was to some extent actually in place and to a great extent mapped out long before he was elected. I am disappointed that he hasn't stopped it, but he is just one man, and he is up against a huge, powerful, threatening and frightened machine.

Those of us who no longer work and who are not threat to anyone need to speak out and warn the young who have their lives before them. That is why I am speaking about it now. I think that the president and Congress could disable our program.

But then, the technology exists and does not belong to the US government. That is a very frightening thing. Someone private or some other government could just take the program over. That would be worse for us than anything.

This is a bit like the pot of the sorcerer's apprentice. It is boiling over, but it will take something extraordinary to stop it. This is not just about our country although we expect to have our rights protected by our government more than do people in some other countries.

I am suspicious that Russia and China also have similar, perhaps less "successful" programs -- as well, perhaps as the UK and maybe some other countries at least internally.

But we need to change the rules on the FISA court. The orders should be available for congressional scrutiny at any time, and members of Congress should be able to talk to the public about some of the details about what goes on in that court.

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