The Surveillance State: Are You Paranoid Enough?

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages welcome to the ongoing exposure of the surveillance state.

While this space is not even close to being the first to address the issue it is a necessary reminder because we’re Americans and we need reminding. We’re busy, we forget, but this one is too dangerous to be allowed to slide to the back of your mind.

Under President Obama Associated Press reporters were surveilled, James Rosen, then of Fox News, was targeted as a “criminal co-conspirator,” his phone and e-mail were surveilled; as were his parents; his parents! Chancellor Merkel’s phone was surveilled. Foreign elections were interfered with, Israel in particular. There was an unheard of level of unmasking related to FISA warranted surveillance by Samantha Powers; but she claims she didn’t do it; her dog must have eaten the intelligence. Attorney General Lynch approved a broad finding allowing unmasking to be shared more widely than ever before. Diane Feinstein was surveilled by the CIA over a dispute between Director Brennan and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

We must be reminded that this behavior falls somewhere between tendencies toward Fascism or toward, perhaps some yet to be named, form of totalitarianism. Oh, Mr. Orwell.

Sharyl Attkisson, then of ABC discovered that her two computers were being turned on remotely including the cameras and microphones and we have to assume what was there was taken. Ms. Attkisson is one of a diminishing number of journalists who remember what journalism should be about.

The FBI was surveilling a Presidential campaign, the Trump Campaign, using unverifiable information as a basis for the aforementioned FISA warrants and the broad unmasking of those ‘caught’ on the surveillance but were not the target of the surveillance, specifically people associated with Donald Trump.

Amazon, Google and Facebook could possibly be an even more effective force for ongoing surveillance of Americans than the entire intelligence community combined. Saying nothing of the bias they apply to what they allow to be seen.

What automatically shows up on your computer when you search for, say, an area rug? Area rugs dominate the ads you see no matter where you go, on your computer; all day long for weeks at a time. I’m in the process of moving to a new state, I used my business address to open a checking account, in no time at all American Express, my old bank and a credit card had, without input from me, changed my ‘address’ to the office address I used as a temporary address; paranoid enough?

We haven’t even gotten around to the NSA or the NGA; one can only imagine what they might be up to; all with the acquiescence of a compliant media that is much more concerned with Roseanne and Russia than with what has become a deeply flawed intelligence community inclusive of the Department of Justice. The media can maintain their 90% negative reporting of Trump but he’s not the threat to democracy; a small cadre of individuals and positions, in the belief that they know better, are the true threat.

If somehow, you’re not completely paranoid about the surveillance culture in the Intelligence Community and what the Amazon, Facebook, Google folks know about you you’re just not paying attention. Not to be naive, there is a lot of information about you out there and you know it, identity theft would not be such a big deal if it were not. However…

We have stood silent as a bureaucracy developed and grew to such a degree that actual oversight and control by way of Constitutional fiat becomes more difficult by the day. The FBI and DOJ simply refuse to hand over the very documents that oversight requires. When they do release documents the redactions are a middle finger to Congressional oversight authority. As often as not, in the end, the redactions are found to be cover for someone in possible jeopardy to the information in the document having nothing to do with confidential sources or top secret security ratings.

If only ‘woke’ meant we were paying attention to the assault on our democracy by a deep state confident that we’ll continue to forget our reminders.