Thursday, August 01, 2013

Surveillance, Security and Sanity

From his watery grave, Osama bin Laden is still punishing America. What he did on 9/11/01 still has us at one another’s throats over homeland security, arguing bitterly over tradeoffs between personal liberty and national safety.

 "All we have to do," he bragged back in 2004, "is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note."

In the atmosphere he created, we are tearing ourselves apart over how to be both safe and free.

Glenn Greenwald and his puppet Eric Snowden publish a secret 32-page summary of the N.S.A.'s XKeyscore program, which mines Internet browsing information the Agency is collecting at 150 network sites, and the government is forced to declassify the document.

To assuage fears over invasion of telephone privacy, the Agency also releases documents describing the collection of “telephone metadata.”

Two cheers for transparency as politicians deplore such invasions of privacy while the Administration fails to offer satisfying proof of their efficacy in preventing terrorist attacks.

Over all this, what Osama did on 9/11 still hovers to gaslight America into self-destruction, a term derived from a World War II movie describing intimidation and psychological abuse through false information that clouds the victims' perception.

As we commemorate our hard-won freedoms of the past century, with friends like Snowden and Greenwald to demagogue the issue, who needs enemies like bin Laden?

Update:  Snowden is sprung from the Moscow air terminal, at least for a while, as the White House fulminates. The ancient among us may wonder if the Russians will shelter him in the apartment that JFK-assassin-to-be Lee Harvey Oswald occupied there more than half a century ago.

No comments: