Once again, the congresscritters are hastily putting on a show--Kabuki theater, really--with "hearings" asking police state security apparatchiks absurdly leading questions. You can almost see their heads bobbing up and down and their eyes opening wide as they look at these police state functionaries suggesting the answers.
What a grotesque manifestation of naked propaganda! We have indeed gone down the rabbit hole, for God's sake.
They ask, how many terrorist acts have these surveillance program helped prevent? The answer: dozens. How are you preventing abuses? The answer: The programs protect constitutional rights; there is oversight by the FISA court and Congress; therefore the program is constitutional and legal.
End of fucking story! Go home and turn on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" or Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Reality Show "The Hero," and don't worry about it; we got you cover.
Anatomy of The American Totalitarian Police State
The genesis of the American Surveillance Police state can be found at the intersection between government functions (which should always be totally devoid of any type of profit motive), and profit/market-driven private/corporatist interests.
Here's how it works: This is becoming apparent to more and more people, but it is important to point it out in this discussion... Unfettered capitalism is not only destructive, vicious, and rapacious, but it is also unsustainable.
It requires constant and rapid growth, or otherwise it collapses.
Why? In the current form of the American totalitarian police state capitalist system, the mechanism to extract profit and wealth from the citizenry and the environment is what is essentially a global financial mafia or criminal enterprise (i.e., Goldman Sachs, IMF, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, Wall Street).
It's based on a kind of pyramid scam. The so-called complex financial instruments are nothing more than the leveraging of market output, multiple times over.
Because this system requires constant and rapid growth, as it hits certain walls, like the limits of the environment (pollution, sullying our water supplies, climate change), and the limits on increases in productivity from the labor force, it reflexively seeks to find profit wherever it can, and it tends to do this semi-automatically, with cyborg-like characteristics.
Because of this need (because of the nature of unfettered capitalism), the system has no option other than to turn utterly fascistic, totalitarian, and oppressive. It has to for self-preservation. Otherwise, it collapses under its own weight (of financial leverage).
That explains the incestuous/revolving door relationship between government and private corporations: Booz Allen’s Role in N.S.A. Case Puts Spotlight on Carlyle
[The Carlyle Group] bought Booz Allen’s government contracting arm for $2.5 billion in 2008, when the consultancy separated the business from its commercial arm. The investment has worked out well for Carlyle so far, with Booz Allen having paid out more than $612 million in special dividends before its 2010 initial public offering.In an incredible display of in-your-face chutzpah, greed and profiteering, you have high level functionaries who go back and forth through the revolving door of corruption--propping up the proto-fascist system.
Carlyle held a roughly 67 percent stake in Booz Allen as of March 31, and still holds three seats on the firm’s board.
The consultancy has posted fairly steady growth over recent years, including $219 million in net income on $5.8 billion in revenue for the year ended March 31. Nearly all of that has been because of its ties to a very important customer, the federal government.
As evidence of the company’s close relationship with government, the Obama administration’s chief intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., is a former Booz Allen executive. The official who held that post in the Bush administration, John M. McConnell, now works for Booz Allen.Which Clapper is this? This the one who claims to have given the "least untruthful answer" to questions by Senator Ron Wyden about warrantless geolocation surveillance and National Security Agency tracking.
These greedy, shifty, evasive, secretive, and utterly dishonest characters use the threat of terrorist attacks to hide their real roles: as bagmen for a global corporatist racketeering cartel.
In other words they use the threat of terrorism as the proverbial boogeyman to rob you blind; to rob you of your humanity, of your labor, of your human and constitutional rights.
And given the demands of the moribund rapacious global capitalist system, they seemed to have no choice. If the citizenry is not subjugated so it can be squeezed off the last drop of (blood) productivity and profit, the impending collapse of capitalism would be hastened.
And so, we'll see the increasingly bizarre and absurd displays of kabuki theater-like propaganda being displayed by Congress, and being parroted by the useless and debased American media (including--insidiously--MSNBC and PBS/NPR).
And that's why there is a huge "The Surveillance CatalogWhere governments get their tools" as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal open a rare window into a new global market for the off-the-shelf surveillance technology that has arisen in the decade since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.And that explains "Top Secret America," as reported by The Washington Post.
The techniques described in the trove of 200-plus marketing documents include hacking tools that enable governments to break into people’s computers and cellphones, and "massive intercept" gear that can gather all Internet communications in a country.
When it comes to national security, all too often no expense is spared and few questions are asked - with the result an enterprise so massive that nobody in government has a full understanding of it. It is, as Dana Priest and William M. Arkin have found, ubiquitous, often inefficient and mostly invisible to the people it is meant to protect and who fund it.And that explains the militarization of the police around the entire country; and it explains the brutal suppression of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which sprung up in opposition to the increased brutality of the system.
This is very, very serious. But unfortunately, as this is happening in real time, and just as fascism was able to engulf other societies in the past, the number one contributor to its imposition is the denial of a large-enough segment of the population, which makes them complicit--wittingly or unwittingly (pun intended).
What explains this phenomena? Aside from the fact that the entire nation is bombarded by an incredibly powerful amount of false narratives, illusion, misinformation, and outright propaganda by the U.S. mainstream media (owned by 6 major corporations), the answer could be found in the words (and warning) of Milton Mayer:
They Thought They Were Free
The Germans, 1933-45
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.
"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
Yes, for those of us trying to warn people about this incarnation of fascism, sometimes it can be frustrating to see the apathy and the shrugging of the shoulders of a great many number of people in society.
Milton Mayer gives us a window into understanding why this happens.
I'm not going to use strong emotional words to get across the main point, other than to say that people need to wake up to this reality. The sooner we do, the sooner we'll be able to confront it, and defeat and beat back fascism in America.