Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Big Brother State

Among the high crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated by the current bunch in the White House is a massive attempt to subvert protections guaranteed American citizens by the Bill of Rights. This is not just the opinion of your humble scribe it's the opinion of one of the left's greatest living heroes, former MIT professor Noam Chomsky. In a recent article at Alternet the prolific Mr. Chomsky argues that the state of surveillance disclosed by Edward Snowden is unprecedented and beyond the imagining of prophets like George Orwell. Chomsky says things like:
“It is of no slight import that the [NSA's surveillance] project is being executed in one of the freest countries in the world, and in radical violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which protects citizens from ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’ and guarantees the privacy of their persons, houses, papers and effects.”

“Much as government lawyers may try, there is no way to reconcile these principles with the assault on the population revealed in the Snowden documents.”
Chomsky is convinced that Barack Obama is deliberately seeking to undermine the foundations of our liberty:
“The documents unveil a remarkable project to expose to state scrutiny vital information about every person who falls within the grasp of the colossus — in principle, every person linked to the modern electronic society. As the colossus fulfills its visions, in principle every keystroke might be sent to President Obama’s huge and expanding databases in Utah.”

“In other ways too, the constitutional lawyer in the White House seems determined to demolish the foundations of our civil liberties. The principle of the presumption of innocence, which dates back to Magna Carta 800 years ago, has long been dismissed to oblivion.”
This is not hyperbole. After all, it was Barack Obama who thought he had the right to kill American citizens overseas without any kind of judicial review.

The point of all this is to make the activities of the citizenry completely transparent to the state while making the activities of the state completely opaque to the citizenry:
“Nothing so ambitious was imagined by the dystopian prophets of grim totalitarian worlds ahead.”

“Throughout, the basic principle remains: Power must not be exposed to the sunlight. Edward Snowden has become the most wanted criminal in the world for failing to comprehend this essential maxim.”

“In brief, there must be complete transparency for the population, but none for the powers that must defend themselves from this fearsome internal enemy.”
It's not an exaggeration to say that no president in our history has displayed a greater tendency toward tyranny and dictatorial rule than has Mr. Obama. No policy in American history has ever constituted a graver threat to the freedom of American citizens than has the NSA's surveillance of every citizen in the country and, indeed, around the world.

Little wonder that the word "impeachment" is being heard with greater and greater frequency on both the left and the right.