Thursday, June 6, 2013
So, I'm just catching bits and pieces of the phone records/e-mail thingee from the news at the gym and a few internet stories.
I think John Cole asks the right question. Was it legal? Yes. It sure seems to be legal. So did the Justice Department's pursuit of the leaks surrounding the State Department's source in the North Korean incident (known as the Rosen Incident).
Nothing that has been done here is illegal. I can't find any illegality, but maybe it exists.
This is the National Security State we put into place and increased for the most part after 9/11. We asked for this, just like we asked for Guantanamo Bay.
We had Andrew Bacevich speak the other night and he made a number of (generic) points about the limits of American power. And the first question was "How do you square with what needs to be done with the realities of American politics?" And Bacevich punted.
The fact is that we were and probably still are a nation of bedwetters. All this data mining has probably made us marginally safer. Keeping all these guys in Gitmo has probably made us even more marginally safer. Want to change it? Change American politics.
I get livid when I see press people wonder if Obama will "keep his promise and close Gitmo". He tried. But the reality is that 99 Senators, including Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold voted to prevent him from doing so, because we are a nation of bedwetters.
The Justice and Defense Department have too much power to collect data. Local police departments have too much power over us. We live in the greatest police state since... ever in American history.
Want to change it? Change the rules. Right now, the government is doing what it has been empowered to do by our elected representatives.
Change begins there first.