In recent days, I have been thinking about developments since the attack of 9/11/2001, and recall the steady drumbeat afterwards to do away with the (in)famous "wall" that separated intelligence gathering and law enforcement. The most famous proponent of that "wall" was of course the otherwise self-serving Democrat hack millionaire and former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. She was, in the words of the Washington Times, "personally responsible for instituting a key obstacle to cooperation between law enforcement and intelligence operations before the terrorist attacks [of 9/11]." While at DOJ, she wrote a memo which made it extremely difficult for the FBI and the CIA to cooperate against terrorism. Again, quoting from the WT,
Gorelick (the No. 2 official in the Clinton Justice Department) on March 4, 1995, to FBI Director Louis Freeh and Mary Jo White, the New York-based U.S. attorney investigating the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In the memo, Ms. Gorelick ordered Mr. Freeh and Ms. White to follow information-sharing procedures that “go beyond what is legally required,” in order to avoid “any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance” that the Justice Department was using Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants, instead of ordinary criminal investigative procedures, in an effort to undermine the civil liberties of terrorism suspects.Lots of us on the right, myself included, felt outrage over the restrictions on information sharing. I had personal experience with this issue overseas, where I saw that one agency could not share certain information with another. It made no sense then, and I still remain highly critical of the motivation behind the building of the "wall," i.e., to protect terrorism suspects--not to protect the overall liberties of Americans.
The consequences of this lack of sharing became visible on that morning of September 11, 2001. The reaction to that attack was, of course, to try to "fix" things so that another attack could not happen. There was a rush to create new structures with new powers, free of past restrictions. I have to say, I never could understand the logic of creating a Department of Homeland Security. First, I found the name itself very anti-American; we do not refer to the homeland, a very European or even dystopian future scifi novel term replete with all sorts of Orwellian implications. Second, I saw good agencies forced to merge with ones that were not so good. Third, I found the size of the DHS that emerged as overwhelming, and, quite frankly, way too unwieldy to serve as an effective CT tool. I have to admit, however, that I liked the knocking down of the "wall," and in my desire to wreak vengeance on the perpetrators of 9/11, failed to think through the implications for liberty. I know that I was not alone in that failure.
We conservatives, therefore, conspired in building the superstate. The liberals, of course, are much better at taking over such a superstate than are conservatives, who, ironically, have long had a very valid mistrust of such a state. The liberals know that when you create programs and the agencies to implement them, you create groups with a vested interest in seeing those programs and agencies expand in reach and size. These groups consist of people who vote and agitate for the programs and agencies that now provide them a livelihood. Look, for example, at the extreme reaction, dutifully hyped by the lapdog media, to the tiny "sequester" of federal funds. One would think that the world had come to an end because X agency would get 6% more money in the next budget cycle rather than the 6.1% it had expected.
We conservatives, for good motives, i.e., kill the bastards who attacked us, helped the liberals create a leviathan now controlled, of course, by the left and focusing its activities not on killing those bastards who attacked, but on monitoring us and using the state's great powers to accumulate wealth for themselves and suppress dissent.
I was a cryptologist for the Navy under the watchful eyes of the NSGA, reporting to many organizations from '89-'94.
Snowden's actions blow me away, let alone what Manning has done, and I cannot fathom what must be going on inside the NSA any more. We were under constant observation to ensure that our various collection methods and the intel we dealt with did not break our national laws or international law and we had a hell of a "pub library" on board that we referred to if there was ever a question of our limits. Never once did we ever have to message our bosses to see if we could push any collection limits. If you had a question about it, you didn't do it.
I, too, was one that supported the Patriot Act for the first couple of years after its inception, not ever dreaming that the collection doors would ever be thrown this wide open to where there is almost no communication method that I can use without the USG being aware of it. I did not realize that my liberties were at stake under the PA, and now that I do, I am embarrassed for my beloved Intel Community. And I represent quite a few keywords: white, conservative, male, disabled veteran, gun owner, Christian, etc.
Blue Tile Spook
You said it much better than I did.Delete
"Gorelick", I always thought that an appropriate name. Your post hit it right. We didn't think out this stuff and we sure haven't stood up to these people.ReplyDelete
Blue Tile Spook: I know exactly what you mean. I have always said (here many times) If it can be abused it will be abuse.
Not only has the 'superstate' (very good term BTW) been created, but it has its own SA/SS in the form of the dependent underclass.ReplyDelete
The DHS is the intelligence/targeting arm; they clearly are using the information they develop to identify actual and potential threats to the body politik. All that remains is to develop and implement the hand-off of the targeting information to the 'urban youths' for action.
The key questions are: when will people finally realize this, and what can they do about it when they realize it?
Given the resources, technology, and ruthless nature of the superstate, I don't see any real ambiguity in the 'solution'.
I think suppressing dissent is less important to these people than acquiring all-encompassing power. Having the latter allows the former, to be sure, but a lot more in addition, including vast wealth. Who, for example, earned an $800,000 bonus from Fannie Mae just before it's failure? Anyone interested reading more about that should be sure to Bing "mistress of disaster."ReplyDelete
Oh, yes, she is quite the model for how to get rich in the "public service."Delete
I think a key element is not so much the building of a Security State but the uber-"Liberal/Progressive" assault on checks and balances. Proportionality and checks and balances are the necessary mechanisms for assuring that great powers are exercised with great responsibility. Sunset clauses on certain powers proportionate to their purpose and benefits to security vs. their cost, mandatory legislative review and renewal, review and oversight, etc., are supposed to help restrain Leviathan, and tend to do so more effectively than idiotic "walls" between information sharing. And they are the very things which have eroded most precipitously under Barry Dunham, particularly in his repeatedly acting as if he is not bound by the Constitution or the law, and the MSM's treatment of any attmepted criticism or restraint on Barry as "racism."ReplyDelete
The Left simply don't believe in a constitutional republic.
The liberals know that when you create programs and the agencies to implement them, you create groups with a vested interest in seeing those programs and agencies expand in reach and size. These groups consist of people who vote and agitate for the programs and agencies that now provide them a livelihood.ReplyDelete
Mostly "speculative" anecdote here but I found it sort of oh, suspicious I guess, that my exclusive email account - one where the only stuff I receive has to do with reports from the GAO, defense procurements, commercial/shipping [seaborne] intel ... a single/sole person I "communicate with" -
last election cycle I began somehow receiving into my inbox, a few occasional "requests" for donations from the Democratic aisle. My filters are set to exclusive - those all should have nested into spam. To be deleted automatically after a week.
I've noticed quite a number of those same sorts of "pleas and infomercials" making reappearances of late - actively blocking results in more. Where (how) did all these entities get my "business address" when my "regular use/correspondence address[es]" are more easily obtained?
I'm "almost certain" I know - don't have actual 'access' anymore so I don't know I could prove it.
DiploMad, this essay is a masterpiece. Thank you, and Blue Tile Spook, for taking the time to share your perspectives on the current nature of our surveillance state.ReplyDelete
Should the notion prove inspiring for a future essay, I'd be very interested to learn how practical it might be to convert the bulk of our current spending on signals intelligence to "human intelligence," if that's the right term.
I imagine there are viable alternatives to SIGINT, possibly even more cost-effective and reliable ones. But, never having worked in foreign service or intelligence jobs, I really don't know.
Keep up the great work!
You have the term right: human intelligence or "HUMINT"Delete
Some years back the US threw almost all of it's efforts into SIGINT and ELINT to the detriment of HUMINT (RE: Church committee, if memory serves) and we been paying a big price for it ever since.
I had a lot more concern about this during the heady days of O's first run and the insane groupthink that was on display. Amazing stuff that, people spouting terrifically inappropriate things based upon the fundamental assumption that everybody in the country wanted O to win the presidency. I was so glad when he took office and his backers suddenly realized they all hated each other almost as much as they hated the GOP.ReplyDelete
If he had managed to keep *that* level of groupthink going, I would be tremendously scared for our ability to replace him in an election at the end of his two terms. I guess it's not much to say: "Well, he's not going to declare himself President For Life", but it's something.
There's going to be a lot of cleanup work for future administrations.
I supported the patriot act because in late 2001 I felt that it was unlikely we'd go another four years without a major terror attack in the US. All emergency powers should decay as time distances us from a disaster, yet at the same time, we need to keep a fundamental baseline of government power in order to keep a lid on terror attacks.
We on the Right know the enemy and call it by name. The Left only knows one enemy...the Right. We on the Right continue to think the Left is going to come around one day like they are going through a teenage phase or something. They won't. Some in the Republican party understand this but most don't. Thus the name "stupid party". All on the Left understand this. As was mentioned previously, the various grievance groups on the Left can unite against the Right, but over time and with enough power in their hands, they will turn on each other with a vengeance. History's rabble is reforming but only for so long.ReplyDelete
Well it's good to get away from Snowden and Manning for a while as neither is spying on my phone calls, emails and credit card statements, and anything else some pervert can think of, treating me like a criminal serf who can never be proven innocent It’s the anti-American abomination National Spy Agency that’s doing that.ReplyDelete
Either the NSA dies or America does.
“In the end, there can be only one”.
The NSA is as incompatible with America as is Islam and for many of the same reasons.
Here is the deal with all of this. As it stands, the huge monolithic beast that we call the government, and more importantly the federal government, believes that they can have secrets – any secrets they want - millions of secrets. When they are caught lying – like Clapper – they don’t get thrown in jail for perjury. Only individuals who shine the light on the their secrets get thrown in jail – Snowden, if they can catch him and don't murder him first, and Manning.
But you aren’t to be trusted with secrets, even personal secrets. If there is a system that can allow you to live in some privacy, and truly hide your correspondence with other free and independent individuals it is shut down – refer to TorMail and Lavabit just to name a couple.
They can have secrets, you can’t. That’s the truth. James Madison was correct when he said that tyranny will come to this land under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
I come down personally (mostly in agreement with Dip - "our" disagreements initially seeming more than this post now demonstrates - but it's 'impolite' to disagree with one's host. Just my opinion.) Bradley was active, in-theater and should've been ... well, I wasn't his Judge.Delete
Just as well John Derbyshire wasn't either.
But there's something "most" of us - even me (perhaps especially me realizing) recognize, NSA has "about" 250K employees, there's 350M of us living our lives. I've been hard on the NSA of late - perhaps too hard (but my concern has more to do with what I hinted at earlier ... a Party in power, using info to it's own purposes)
DHS is another sort of worry - NSA I don't worry limiting my "personal liberties" - DHS (as we recently witnessed in Boston rolling out APCs doing house-to-house searches, knocking on doors "asking permission" to execute searches) NSA is limited. DHS on the other hand ...
But some go further than I do, and I'll admit - I'm no "numbers-cruncher":
Re: Patriot Act. I applied my "other side principle" to the Legislation. I viewed it from the viewpoint of what would I think if an Uber-Lib (I was thinking Hillary, Kerry, Gore at the time...The One was an unknown)was presenting the Bill for consideration.ReplyDelete
It was horrific to watch all of the conservatives jump on the PA band-wagon with no consideration that they would not be in power forever and one day (far to soon to be appreciated at the time) a radical Leftist would be using the power you gave him.
And I look upon Immigration and a host of other Legislation being bought into by The Right and I wonder why we even bother with a Republican party anymore.
off topic... this brouhaha in Syria regarding chemical weapons makes no sense. Since Hiz'ballah entered the conflict on the side of Assad, my impression was that they've been having non-stop successes against the "sunni side". Why would they resort to chemical weapons at this point?ReplyDelete
I suspect shenanigans in there.
There was you likely recall, an earlier claim of a chem use.
One thing "knowledgeable persons" noticed was the absence of 'oily appearance' on the bodies of the victims. (If it was Vx - there wouldn't have been immediate "rescuers" close-at-hand for victim transport.)
This most recent, the bodies however were (as rendered via TV cameras, "glistening" [but glaringly "all-over" especially the children] so ... since it wasn't Vx, McCain and Ilk would have us "believe" Sarin - Sarin leaves oily evidence ["glistening"] but there then is another problem - many survivors [without hazmat suits - or gloves or tellingly, filtering masked breathing devices or for that matter, any masks at all]
The "rescuers rescued" over "apparently" a significant period of time but were not themselves affected. Then, at hospital, the medical staff went about business unadorned/unprotected by (if it was an inhaled chem as are the reports) even the simple Japanese-style "paper-mask."
Sarin - if anybody's seen it, knows.
If indeed there was a chem-event, "my guesstimate" is, it would most likely (I don't KNOW) it was some sort of WWI chem - most likely Chlorine judging the appearance of the victims.
But then "the glistening" gives me pause - pause long enough to consider it "staged."
& "if it was staged" ---- "who exactly" benefits (or, more likely, stands to benefit)
I realize full well some(most) of my countrymen might well think me cold-blooded/heartless - but then I'd ask them to "look at the whole History & not just a select History."
Then ask themselves - "Should I take the weekend off to effect such & such"?
That'd necessitate "covert" of course & as "Our Henry" admonished - I'm likely gonna mangle this;
"Covert action must not be conflated into Missionary-Work."
Yeah.. seems like we could easily get sucked in via a false-flag type event here.Delete
I mean, if an intervention is deemed warranted, fine. But basing it on an event that doesn't make sense in the particulars (rescuers being unaffected, lack of precautions) and in the strategy (why would Assad resort to this when he's got the upper hand with Hizb'allah's aid), seems like it's a proposed action that's been looking for a justification.
Still eagerly awaiting Dip's opinions on our UN ambassador! :)
- reader #1482
Arkie: " pause long enough to consider it "staged." This had better be considered. From O's point of view this could seem to be a perfect time for a "tail wags dog" moment that he really needs. But this is not OBL hit or a Libyan waltz, Syria is a whole different kettle of fish. This is where some people could do some serious shooting back and few would know who's doing it.Delete
Syria is a whole different kettle of fish.Delete
It would appear James, we this time as we seem to be viz Egypt find ourselves again in the same.
But, .... personally speaking ... and I currently "enjoy" able detractors, I'm candidly of the opinion (excluding a big push from McCain [maybe Graham] "perhaps" some few others - not all of the same aisle) I find myself assailed.
Too, too many "hawks" in my view - justifying from some weird positioning (as if 'throwing a little weight around' is gonna accomplish "something" ... but this is neither strategy nor in our [US] interests. If the Wahhabis & the Turks "feel the feel" to do Syria, let 'em at it I say.
We [US] must be single-minded - we've one single staunch ally in the region, one which could, in a pinch, get by "for a time" without us "active." That ally has through experience, come to alliances of it's own making - but, in the Realist sense, not anything like pre-WWI Europe.
To support our ally, wholeheartedly, "we must bribe" - and perhaps most importantly, be seen very obviously (at least for a couple of decades to come) to "outbribe" everybody else.
We should prod (however unlikely he would) to get Obama to study Bismarck.
Require Oberlin College entrants to pass Realpolitik.
Hooo Ha Ha Ha!
Oberlin College students be required to "know" Realpolitik?!!
But we do have an interest,
a National Security Interest[s] in the ME.
Gonna take awhile but it's this:
No war without Egypt --- No peace without Syria.
.... Looks to be awhile. ....
Thanks for your appraisal of the Left's use of the destruction of our economy to their own ends and your disdain for the incredibly stupid "Gorlick wall."ReplyDelete
The downfall of our economy is just another crisis to be put to use. When it comes down, the capitalists will bear the brunt of the blame and the progressives will be the heroes rushing in to save the common man.
There is a lot of nonsense swirling about vis-a-vis the NSA and I wonder if the goal is to re-erect the wall, or to use the agency as a scapegoat for general administration malfeasance.
I challenge Diplomad (and commentors) to continue with the theme of "Republican Responsibility for Liberal X". Here is my example in the what/how format:ReplyDelete
What - Allowing the government to pay $70 million to Navigators to enroll Obamacare.
How - The community organizer recipients will use the funding to create a standing operation for the Democratic get out the vote.
Being an ignurn't hillbilly (and I gess a commentor) I'd allow you maybe could take the algebra out of it and turn it to a add subtract?
I'm challenged. I'm A Simple Man.
What, for instance, is a "Liberal X"?
You'll need graph that - cain't understand widout a graph. Hillbilly you'll kindly condescend to?
This week I have pondered the clash between libs and conservatives.ReplyDelete
I note we conservatives for the most part do all the hard work keeping freedom alive for each generation while the libs are busy complaining that we just aren't perfect enough and demanding more "freedoms" which are not freedoms at all.
Having said that we simply prayed for our country this morning as a collective church body in our small town's church. And we wept. And I believe the Lord God Almighty hears our prayers and understands our grief at witnessing the ungodliness we have reached, a nation called out to honor Him and set our freedom upon His word.
And I prayed for our son to come home along with all the other sons and daughters fighting for our freedoms.
The thing is we have allowed freedoms in the wrong things to enslave us.
Enough said.....just agreeing with your thoughts and praying for this land I love.
East Texas Rancher