On Aug 23, 2010, at 2:24 AM, KZK wrote:
>> On Aug 21, 2010, at 21:51, David Brin<dbrin@...> wrote:
>>> Whine, moan bitch complain without any sensible suggestions...
>>> yep, that's the Cato way.
>>> Above all, aim all suspicion-of-authority at some vague
>>> "government" and ignore all other forces.
>>> From: KZK<evil.kezik@...>
>>> To: brin-l@...
>>> Sent: Sat, August 21, 2010 6:42:35 PM
>>> Subject: Brin: The Digital Surveillance State: Vast, Secret, and
> On 8/21/2010 10:14 PM, Chris Frandsen wrote:
>> This is the same anti government pitch being pushed right now to
>> hamstring this administration.
> So, we should just ignore it when Obama is worse, in this case on
> spying on Americans, than Bush was, just because he has a (D) after
> his name?
> We should just ignore it when Obama does the opposite of what he
> campaigned on, just because he has a (D) after his name?
> We should Shut our mouths over things that when Bush did them, were
> completely outrageous, just because he has a (D) after his name?
> So we should just turn of four brains and accept everything he does
> as good, and just and right, and beyond criticism, just because he
> has a (D) after his name?
I have to admit, one reason I voted for Obama (and I did vote for him,
both in the primaries and in the general election) was my belief that
at the very least, he would partially if not completely dismantle the
invasive "security" apparatus that Bush/Cheney were so eager to put
into place the day after 9/11/01, and if nothing else, call for the
repeal of at least portions of the USA PATRIOT Act and the illegal (by
the actual FISA statute, if I remember correctly) "warrantless
wiretapping" practices used by the domestic security/intel agencies
and restore some accountability to government surveillance of citizens.
The fact that he did nothing of the sort, and in fact took steps to
further entrench that policy of surveillance and extrajudicial "anti-
terrorism" measures that ultimately completely bypass due process, by
itself makes me regret ever supporting him. It's a largely
inexplicable discrepancy between the policy promises he campaigned on
and the actual policies he put in place once in office.
As far as I know, Cheney's shadow Situation Room, PEOC, and secure
communications facilities are still in place at One Observatory
Circle, as I've heard no mention anywhere of those being
decommissioned or removed. Granted, Joe Biden doesn't seem to be the
type of VP who would take advantage of having those facilities there,
but that hinges on a gut-level read of the man that may be wildly if
not totally inaccurate.
We still only have simple good-faith assertions by the various three
letter agencies involved that they will not use the largely
unaccountable surveillance powers they have for reprisals against
citizens' criticism of the apparatus itself or of Congress' or
presidential administrations' use or misuse of it. So far I haven't
seen any evidence of its misuse, but a great deal of such misuse could
be going out without any news of it ever surfacing, the way it's
structured from what's been disclosed. And given that we're talking
about a system that can data-mine the entire US telecommunications
infrastructure in real time, under software control, on fairly
abstract semantic levels, the potential for virtually untraceable
abuse is significant indeed. Which is what disappoints and concerns
me about what *hasn't* happened to correct this during this
(And the irony is that the same neoconservatives who couldn't be
enthusiastic enough about the expansion of government power after
9/11, while Bush II was in office, are suddenly completely against it
now that Obama is in office. Seems they forgot the rule that you
should never give a government powers you wouldn't want your worst
nightmare of a government to have..)
"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual
ignorance." -- H. L. Mencken