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The Surveillance State Thrives on Fear-by Glenn Greenwald

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-10 05:02 PM
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The Surveillance State Thrives on Fear-by Glenn Greenwald
Edited on Thu Aug-26-10 05:04 PM by kpete
The Surveillance State Thrives on Fear

by Glenn Greenwald
The Conversation
August 26th, 2010

Im particularly appreciative of the responses to my initial essay by John Eastman and Paul Rosenzweig. Those two replies especially the former perfectly illustrate the continuous stream of manipulative fear-mongering over the last decade which has reduced much of the American citizenry into a meek and submissive faction for whom no asserted government power is too extreme, provided the scary menace of Terrorism is uttered to justify it.

That more-surveillance-is-always-better mentality is what allows Eastman and Rosenzweig to dismiss concerns over surveillance excesses a mere four weeks after the establishment-supporting Washington Post documented that our Surveillance State is so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that not even top intelligence and defense officials know what it does. For those who are so fearful of Terrorism and/or so authoritarian in their desire to exploit and exaggerate that threat for greater government power, not even the construction of a Top Secret America an alternative geography of the United States that operates in the dark and with virtually no oversight is cause for concern.

Eastmans essay centers around one three-word slogan: Were at war! For almost a full decade, this has been the all-justifying clich for everything the U.S. government does from torture, renditions and due processfree imprisonments to wars of aggression, occupations, assassination programs aimed at U.S. citizens, and illegal domestic eavesdropping. Thus does Eastman thunder, with the melodrama and hysteria typical of this scare tactic: Not once in his article does Greenwald even acknowledge that we are at war with a global enemy bent on destroying us. A global enemy bent on destroying us! Scary: be very afraid.

..............

From its founding, the United States has been grounded in the need to balance security with freedom; that means sometimes sacrificing the former for the latter (which is why, for instance, the Constitution limits the states power to conduct searches or imprison people even though those limits will sometimes enable violent criminals to escape). People like Eastman evince no appreciation for that balance. Security is the only recognized value, and thus, like a frightened child calling out for a parent, they insist that the government must have unrestrained power to do what it wants to Keep Us Safe. A country wallowing in that level of blinding fear will not be great for very long.

The Rest:
http://www.cato-unbound.org/2010/08/26/glenn-greenwald/...
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-10 07:02 PM
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1. K&R + Top Secret America link
Top Secret America (A Washington Post Investigation)
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 02:57 PM
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2. Another kick...
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 03:06 PM
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3. knr nt
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