When it comes to the domestic surveillance machine in the United States of Big Brother circa 2014, it is important to realize that none of this was built overnight. In the comments section of a piece that I just wrote entitled “ICREACH: Another Toy For the Surveillance State” a reader correctly points out that the NSA search engine project preceded President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House. This is correct. However, it does not absolve Obama of the failure to implement any form of necessary oversight and proper controls that prevent NSA programs and tools such as ICREACH from being misused. That the NSA programs are being abused is beyond question given the stories based on documents leaked by former government contractor turned NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. No matter how one feels about Snowden, it is paramount to the very principle of U.S. democracy that the government not be allowed to operate in secrecy. A government that conceals itself in the shadows and erects institutions and laws to serve as firewalls against public scrutiny is not one that should exist in a free country.
NSA employees and contractors have been outed as using information gathered by mass snooping to look at naked pictures, spy on love interests, former spouses and girlfriends and trolling porn sites. Obama has been completely absent while the cancer of the unconstitutional, Orwellian apparatus has metastasized out of control in the U.S.A. While Bush and his predecessors bear a large brunt of the blame for this incursion on the privacy rights of millions of law-abiding American citizens, at least in a historical tense, they are Obama’s babies now. Whatever happened to President Harry Truman’s famous maxim that “the buck stops here”?
As referenced in the story on ICREACH, the foundation of the coming fascist totalitarian state lies within the highly secretive Executive Order 12333 – “twelve-triple-three” to insiders. This is the cornerstone cornerstone of the post-September 11, 2001 new order of unaccountable mass surveillance, data-mining what has been referred to as “turnkey totalitarianism”. Long before the USA PATRIOT Act was rammed through a cowardly Congress and imposed on a fearful populace in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks with no legitimate debate, there was 12333.Executive Order 12333 gave the intelligence apparatus a blank check to operate with impunity and in the darkness. The surveillance state has been expanded to the point where it is arguable that it has essentially created a secret, shadow government or as it has been referred to: a “Deep State”
A story in McClatchy last year entitled “Most of NSA’s data collection authorized by order Ronald Reagan” is where the highly secret circumvention of the US Constitution broke out of the darkness. A follow-up editorial was also published in the Washington Post entitled “Meet Executive Order 12333: The Reagan rule that lets the NSA spy on Americans” further shedding light on this most anti-American of diktats. Not to assign any malevolence to Reagan, he likely could never have foreseen how advances in technology would be used to target law-abiding Americans to the whims of an out of control government as exists today.
Current NSA programs and surveillance such as ICREACH, PRISM, XKEYSCORE,MYSTIC, BOUNDLESS INFORMANT, FAIRVIEW, SOMALGET and others are just more evolved than their earlier prototypes. ECHELON, PROMIS, CARNIVORE, MAIN CORE and the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program also preceded Obama. Rest assured that hundreds if not thousands of more surveillance, data-mining, archiving and even plans for the internment of American citizens are still secret. For those who think that the rounding up and imprisonment of political opponents and dissidents is a conspiracy theory, just look to statements made by Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia earlier this year that internment camps could again be opened. Sounds a lot like REX 84.
Harbor no illusions about the menace of the national surveillance state. Mr. Obama will not do one damned thing to reign it in and come January of 2017 he will turn over the monstrosity to his successor (likely Hillary Clinton) who will continue to expand it. As George Orwell famously wrote in 1984 – “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull” – and they will be coming after that in due time.