And here is the video, also
with a link to the ACLU’s
The Huffington Post article
director Oliver Stone addressed the still-unfolding NSA spying scandal in a video
released Wednesday, cautioning that Americans' civil liberties were
being "eaten by the NSA surveillance machine."
"Does it concern you that
the government is spying on you?" he asked.
Fot more, watch the video and
read the article: It's a good
video. Here is an excellent quotation from it:
"The question is
not whether you have something to hide. The question is whether we
control government or the government controls us."
This starts as follows, by the
- in a sense - not surprising, but in another sense quite stunning:
Security Agency's ability to gather phone data on millions of Americans
hinges on a secret court ruling that redefined a single word:
Here is the secret of the
orders starting in the mid-2000s, the court accepted that "relevant"
could be broadened to permit an entire database of records on millions
of people, in contrast to a more conservative interpretation widely
applied in criminal cases, in which only some of those records would
likely be allowed, according to people familiar with the ruling.
Another secret that now is out
(the Snowden Effect!):
Two senators on
the Intelligence Committee, Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Mark Udall (D.,
Colo.), have argued repeatedly that there was a "secret interpretation"
of the Patriot Act. The senators' offices tell the Journal that this
new interpretation of the word "relevant" is what they meant.
And there is this:
must request specific records relevant to its investigation," Rep. Jim
Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, says.
"To argue otherwise renders the provision meaningless," he says. "It's
like scooping up the entire ocean to guarantee you catch a fish."
Right - and as far as I
see (and the article is good and balanced), there are at least three
pretty scandalous things involved:
the totally out-of-bound
ruling of "relevant", that has been
made in secret, is
classified, and is done by secret courts, plus
the fact that the YES WE
SCAN president keeps this secret, together with 92 million
You just can't declare everybody's
phone-calls and internet-traffic "relevant", and if you intend
to do so, and before it happens, the least that should happen
is that this gets publicly, honorably, and honestlydiscussed.
If you do this in secret, you are behaving as in a Stalinist state, and
you are not a democrat but a secret plotter.
3. Government's Secret Interpretation I am not the only one concerned and made angry by this.
Here is Washington's Blog:
Interpretation of Spying Turns 200 Years of American Law On Its Head
That seems to me quite correct.
Here are some consecutive paragraphs:
Wyden and Udall said that
they couldn’t reveal to the public – or even other members of Congress
who lack top security clearance – what the secret interpretation is …
and that most Congress members were totally ignorant about it.
The author of the Patriot
Act and chairman on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime,
Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations – Congressman Jim
Sensenbrenner – says that the government has gone far beyond
what the Patriot Act intended, and that the Act “was originally drafted
to prevent data mining” on the scale that’s occurred.
Robert Reich asks the
question, and illustrates how extremely little legislation is
being produced, essentially because of the GOP, but he doesn't quite
answer it - except, perhaps, by his last paragraph:
As has been noted
many times in history, it is not so much the viciousness or
carelessness of the bad people but the silence of the good people that
brings societies to the brink, or beyond.
Yes - though with all
this secret spying, that's secretly "approved" by secret courts, some
of them may be blackmailed as well.
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: