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View Diary: Yes, Congress and the president are responsible for the surveillance state (72 comments)

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  •  indeed, the root cause of all this is the simple (8+ / 0-)

    fact that the US population is . . . well . . . terrorized.

    Bin Laden knew that he would never be strong enough to bring down the US.  But he also knew he could provoke the US population and its government into bringing down the US itself. And when we were terrorized---when we all ran around waving our arms willing to do ANYTHING to make it stop--we accomplished his mission for him.

    Yes, the military-security state took advantage of the opportunity.  But we--all of us--provided that opportunity.

    Remember this speech from "V":

    How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.
    That is always how fascism begins.
    •  i disagree - they just can't be bothered (7+ / 0-)

      worried about paying the bills and getting healthcare.

      keeping people worried about food and shelter is an excellent way to make sure they couldn't care less about "freedom".

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 11:43:11 AM PDT

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      •  I'd argue it's both. After 9/11, mostly fear that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, kurt, robing1151, shaharazade

        was manipulated by the Bush fascists again and again. After Hurricane Katrina, that started to wear off, and people slowly started coming around some. But then the Great Recession hit, and the Teabaggers rose to virulently opposed anything their mythical Kenyan Anti-Christ Black Guy in the White House wanted to do -- including govern.

        So, yeah, ever since many people are, as you rightly note, too exhausted financially and emotionally to make abstract, seemingly distant issues of civil liberties all that much of a priority. And so it has continued, in part. But events like Boston serve up red meat to the Military/Intel Industrial Complex, and keep justifying unjustifiable amounts of spending and erosion of the Bill of Rights.

        Which is why we're in such big trouble. Unless there's some kind of leverage exercised against the complicit and compliant Congresscritters, they will respond to those who write the biggest checks, and ignore the minority of us who have the time, energy, or knowledge to oppose this shit. It will largely be the political/policy tree falling in the forest, with no one to hear.

        "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by Kombema on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 12:20:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The US population was intentionally terrorized (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, danps, GreenMother, shaharazade

      by the Bush administration overblowing warning after warning and their stupid color scheme RED ALERT crap.  Oh? Only Orange today?  And......... what?   What were people supposed to do with that?  Nothing they could do besides be frightened more.

      Buy duct tape and plastic sheets!  Make a home survival kit in case the terrorists surround your house! Prepare for destruction.....

      Pure. Unadulterated. Bullshit.

      The Bush administration kept that up for 7 more years, even raising the TERROR! alert levels before the 2004 election to help defeat Swiftboated John Kerry.

      Saying this is "the fault of the American people" is to ignore an administration which for seven years did everything they could to frighten the populace on a national level.

      They could have said, "Well, OBL threw a blow, but he didn't knock us down.  Terrorism will never succeed because Americans are Not Afraid of anyone."  

      Just think if they maintained that theme:  "Nothing has to change because Americans are Not Afraid."  

      It would be an entirely different world today.

      The current administration?  Yes, it is absolutely their fault. They knew what they were doing, but the American people did not.  Did Barack Obama tell America that the Total Information Awareness program supposedly shut down under Bush was still up, still running and still sucking up everyone's information?  

      No, he did not. He "welcomes the debate," but never bothered to say, "Hey, we need to work this out.  We're doing some really borderline stuff here regarding the Constitution."  

      No, he didn't welcome the debate. He continued to cover up the existence of a program the American people had been told was ended.

      The fault of this lies entirely with Congress, particularly those directly briefed on these programs and with the White House.  Time for some Change.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 05:00:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with everything you say except that (0+ / 0-)

        I don't remember anyone ever telling us that the surveillance programs had been shut down.   Who did that, and when?  

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