Aristotle wrote that “the rule of law is better than the rule of any one individual.” But, in a surveillance state, law is arbitrary and capricious. The rules are pretend. The vote is diluted.
Which brings us to the dark irony of July 18th — the day after a former U.S. President confirmed “America has no functioning democracy” — when Dr. Joseph Bonneau, a member of Google’s Data Protection Team, received the NSA’s award for the Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper of 2012. The title? “The Science Of Guessing.”
The very next day he wrote:
Like many in the community of cryptographers and security engineers, I’m sad that we haven’t better informed the public about the inherent dangers and questionable utility of mass surveillance. And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path….I don’t condone the NSA’s surveillance….I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organization like the NSA…Our focus must remain on winning the public debate around surveillance and developing privacy-enhancing technology.”
I’d rather have it abolished than persist in its current form. My feeling based on what I’ve read is that I don’t want to live in a country with an organization like the NSA is right now.
On Wednesday — at the behest of a motivated citizenry working on less than 24 hours notice, and notwithstanding the fact that “the 217 ‘No’ voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 ‘yes’ voters’ – 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voted to defund NSA’s phone collection program.
The following day in Aspen, Governor Chris Christie — the bombastic, diseased, former Federal prosecutor — tacitly extended Dr. Bonneau and other like-minded citizens an invitation to “come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans” of 9-11, who Christie — I’m “guessing” — keeps locked in a time capsule.
Two things require zero guesswork: (a) “the children” with two parents who lost their fathers on 9-11 were never “orphaned” in the usual sense and (b) the alleged “widows” hopefully are either happily remarried or actively dating, as opposed to cowering in a fetal position behind the Marines in conditioned response to twelve years of relentless psychological warfare and political deceit at the hands of Chris Christie and his hapless band of virtual co-conspirators in the Risk Management Industrial Complex.
With individuals like Joseph Bonneau and Edward Snowden giving clinics on “intelligent citizenship” who needs Chris Christie? Haven’t “the widows and the orphans” suffered enough?
Now back to you.