Thursday, June 6, 2013


There’s no way the Obama Administration can explain away its use of the “Patriot” Act to spy secretly and massively on the American people. To persist in expanding the National Security State through catch-all surveillance and monitoring of phone calls is as indefensible as it is deadly dangerous.

Once again, the deed belies the word. Credence in the President’s argument for ending the so-called Global War on Terror is undermined even before it registers in public consciousness and in the political arena.

Obama criticizes and calls for change, but his loyalty to the basic features of the power structure gets in the way. The system — increasingly a plutocracy — generally prevails. The only remedy is public anger over the extraordinary incursions against civil liberties. The new disclosure of “Patriot” Act atrocities makes it even more urgent to defeat the reactionary bloc in Congress that refuses to allow any measure of progress or consideration for the people.

Only a storm of defiant protest can translate words into respect for civil liberties and action to terminate the crushing reign of the Global War on Terror. That’s what we know from those movements that “overcome”: those that actually move the country for change in favor of civil rights, gay rights and equality for immigrants.

1 comment:

  1. Leon, my first reaction to the mass surveillance revelations was "They only collect telephone numbers and length of conversations? Is this so bad?" But after a lot more reading and thinking I concluded that it is part of a massive assault on our civil liberties, and it is the secretiveness enveloping it that makes it chillingly dangerous. Another part of the assault is the suppresion of whistleblowers.

    From a HuffingtonPost article:

    Obama Whistleblower Prosecutions Lead To Chilling Effect On Press

    Steve Coll, the incoming dean of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, profiled Kiriakou for the New Yorker earlier this month. Coll wrote about how "Obama's Justice Department has been unusually aggressive in prosecuting government officials for leaking secrets to the press," with six of the 10 cases over the past century occurring under Attorney General Eric Holder's watch.

    "We perform a vital function in a democracy like the United States, the few there are of us, the few whistleblowers," [reporter] Landay said. "The harder the government tries to control critical information, the more damage it does to the quality of our democracy."

    John Wallan