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Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:20 PM

Edward Snowden and the Real Issues (by Christopher H. Pyle)

From the guy who found what Nixon and the Pentagon were doing with 70s GESTAPO tactics and technology:

Will We Pay Attention?

Edward Snowden and the Real Issues

CounterPunch June 13, 2013


This scandal is not just about Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency, and Snowdenís profiteering bosses at Booz Allen Hamilton. It is about secret government in general, the militarization of intelligence, the privatization of governmental functions, and the role of secret campaign contributions to prevent adequate oversight of the executive branch and its pet companies.

Senator Feinstein and her colleagues donít want to admit it, but the secrecy system does not permit her and her colleagues to restrain secret government. Once they get a secret briefing, they are pledged not to discuss what they have learned, even with their staffs. Feinstein is such a weak overseer that she could not even persuade the secret FISA court to declassify its sweeping surveillance orders or the legal rationale behind them. But Mr. Snowden could do that with his leaks. He, not the senator, revealed that the secret court had, with its rubber stamp, rendered the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonably broad seizures meaningless.


Since 9/11 private corporations have greatly expanded the intelligence community. Seventy percent of the communityís budget now goes to private contractors. So members of Congress, reporters, and suspected leakers are not just vulnerable to government surveillance; they are vulnerable to corporate reprisals, should their investigations or disclosures pose a threat to companies in the intelligence business. These surveillance powers can be used not only to protect secret agencies from criticism; they can be used, as General Motors once used them, to try to discredit critics like Ralph Nader.

Many people believe that they have nothing to fear from government/corporate surveillance because they have nothing to hide. But every bureaucracy is a solution in search of a problem, and if it canít find a problem to fit its solution, they will redefine the problem. In the 1960s, the surveillance bureaucracies redefined anti-war and civil rights protests as communist enterprises; today the same bureaucracies redefine anti-war Quakers, environmentalists, and animal rights activists as ďterrorists.Ē So political activists, no matter how benign, have good reasons to fear these bureaucracies.

Again, most Americans do not worry, because they are not political activists, reporters, investigating legislators, or crusading attorneys general like Eliot Spitzer. Most Americans are like the Germans who did not fear the secret police because they were not Jews. But all Americans depend on reporters, leakers, and crusading legislators to keep government agencies and private corporations under control. So they should worry about government secrecy, the militarization of surveillance, the privatization of intelligence, and the role of corporate money in elections.



PS: I read Dr. Pyle's name twice on DU earlier today.

Catherina, in 70% of the $80+ billion intel budget goes 2 private contractors not bound by constitutional amendmts.


H20 Man, in Intruder in the Dust.

When I saw the article, I realized it was important to share...

7 replies, 2165 views

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Edward Snowden and the Real Issues (by Christopher H. Pyle) (Original post)
Octafish Jun 2013 OP
bananas Jun 2013 #1
Octafish Jun 2013 #3
bananas Jun 2013 #4
Octafish Jun 2013 #5
Catherina Jun 2013 #2
Octafish Jun 2013 #6
Catherina Jun 2013 #7

Response to bananas (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:50 PM

3. Did you notice the similarities between Gen. Alexander and Adm. Poindexter of Iran-Contra TIA fame?

The manner of speech made a scary reminder from seven years back, from DUer leftchick:

Remember Poindexter/The Pentagon and Total Information Awareness Program

Made worse by hearing the voice of William Colby...

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Response to bananas (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 09:53 PM

5. 'There clearly was a line in the FISA statutes which says you couldnít do this,'. Inman said.

This is the point that the press, etc. miss.

Thank you bananas for the important links.

Unlike too many in public service today, Adm. Inman has INTEGRITY.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:42 PM

2. Most excellent read

" every bureaucracy is a solution in search of a problem, and if it canít find a problem to fit its solution, they will redefine the problem."

Snowden has revealed just enough to show how pervasive this spying is. Will we pay attention, or will we be distracted by irrelevant attacks upon his character? Given all he has sacrificed to let us know what is happening inside our secret government, donít we owe it to him to pay attention?

Thank you for posting this! I just updated my thread to link to yours.


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Response to Catherina (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 10:16 PM

6. The future of democracy hangs in the balance.

We've been hurtling toward fascism so long, it may be impossible to stop the train. While the terrain and countryside seem familiar to those who have recently hopped aboard, those who remember the United States before Nov. 22, 1963 see a radically different place, an alien world where peace and prosperity, democracy and liberty for all are replaced with money trumps peace and survival of the richest.

Thank you for standing up and pulling the emergency chord, Catherina.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:18 PM

7. I hope it's not too late, This is where I say Edward Snowden is a hero

so are the NSA whistelblowers who passed before however, he took the bravest step, by actually taking documents to share with the public. Greenwald says he got a carefully organized notebook, with tabs in it, of all the information Snowden thought could help, and was told to publish what he, as a journalist, thought was necessary to warn the public.

I stand in awe. We've all been pulling emergency cords for years, and the whisteblowers before him, who thought they'd ruined their lives for nothing (other than their conscience) are in the right place to support him. But it was Snowden who hit the main switch.

Can you imagine being Edward Snowden right now? I would be tripping my brains out at the enormity of what I'd done, the enormity of firing such a lethal shot to a massive, angry monster.

People and governments all over the world need to stop this train right now. It better not be too late.

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