Secrecy Run Amok
You can't find many papers in the country more conservative than the Arizona Republic. And they are clearly uncomfortable with the thought that Bush and his spy agencies are gathering so much data on citizens. Especially in light of the fact that this data could be abused so easily by those in the government. What do you think the machine will do with all that data? David Neiwert reminds us that Senator Frank Church warned against what could happen if the NSA amassed so much control over our private lives.
"That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people," he said in 1975, "and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide."
He added that if a dictator ever took over, the NSA "could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back."
"I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge," Senator Church said. "I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
I'd also like to remind people that within these spy agencies that are combing through our lives (and as Greg Palast notes "connecting the dots" via companies like ChoicePoint) are spies who are selling us out to the highest bidder. Or do you think that we've gotten to the bottom of the Duke Cunningham-Dusty Foggo-Brent Wilkes affair? And people who have opposed the corruption (both financial and moral) in the CIA have quit, been fired and gagged. What else is hidden under the veil of secrecy? As Laura Rozen says, we need to stop just following the money, but start to look at what's actually being done with that money. With this administration, the odds are the black contracts are hiding an awful lot of sin.