Home > Financial Ponzi, Political Ponzi > What does the transition from “protection” to “repression” look like?

What does the transition from “protection” to “repression” look like?

The major danger of programs like the NSA’s intrusive surveillance is that it presents those in positions of power and/or authority with the opportunity to abuse their access.  There is always some risk of authority over-stepping its bounds, but by legalizing infringements in particular cases, the “norm” or “anchor” is re-positioned in the public mind.  Since 2001, we as westerners (certainly as Americans) have grown accustomed to invasions of our privacy and come to think of it as par-for-the-course.  What was unthinkable in 1955 (assassinating a U.S. citizen by executive order without trial, for example), has become another ho-hum necessity in the “war on terror.”  But who is terrorized?  Ultimately, i suspect it will be whoever opposing the political establishment.

Enter Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who revealed Edward Snowden’s evidence to the public and has led the journalistic investigation of the NSA’s surveillance infringements.  The GCHQ, England’s equivalent of the NSA, detained the partner of Glenn Greenwald on Sunday morning and held him for questioning for 9 hours (the maximum allowed without leveling a formal charge).  Greenwald sounded defiant in response to the “intimidation attempt.”  Sadly, this escalation of state abuse is predictable.  What starts as protection “for the people” can all-too-easily result in general repression of political dissent.  And that appears to have been the case on Sunday.  Simon Jenkins commented that the “war on terror” is now “now corrupting every area of democratic government.”  Alan Rudbridger has also written an excellent editorial about the very real danger that state repression poses to journalism.  I am heartened that, despite the fact that there remains stiff resistance to change from the political establishment, at least it feels like winds of change may be rustling a bit.  I love Greenwald’s defiance.  Here’s hoping more people catch on.   Below is a mini-documentary Laura Poitras put together in 2012 featuring William Binney, one of the early NSA whiste-blowers whose calls went unheeded.

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