In response to the “Does the NSA target JFK websites?” post we had many compelling comments.
Anthony Martin writes:
“’Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why if it prospered none dare call it treason.’ (Sir John Harrington, 1561–1612). Contrary to the opinion of Mr. Sunstein: The worship of a state apparatus is not the moral equivalent of honoring the bargain between a free people and a representative government.
“Aside from the Constitutional issues of privacy and the identification of, the targeting of , and the suppression of dissident opinion; a centralized security information collection agency, such as the NSA, is subject to the following failings: 1) Abuse of power by an individual, e.g. J.E. Hoover; 2) Abuse of power by the institution itself,e.g. the CIA, 3) Infiltration by an agent of a foreign power, e.g. ala Kim Philby, and 4) Internal corruption for profit, e.g. the selling of information by an individual for monetary gain.
“The mere suggestion that the Executive Branch would use the NSA to manipulate public opinion and suppress free inquiry is a compelling reason for the necessity of sites like this. An examination of the JFK assassination, by its nature, causes one to seek a better understanding of the ramifications of a government acting in secret. This, even if there never comes about a once and for all solution to the aforementioned crime.”
But PBR cautions:
“Rather than waste ones time chasing shadows it may be wiser to challenge opposing views in the comments section with facts. Rather than, ‘Know thine enemy’ it would seem to be a case of ‘Know thy facts.’ That’s the only surefire way to insulate oneself from any Machiavellian tricksters. Self induced paranoia is a distraction and an intellectual debility. Should the odd agent provocateur raise it’s head, so be it. There can be no fallout from civil debate and the application of logic.”
And John Kirsch concludes:
“In my view, the whole debate on this post is an example of what I would call the ‘dance of the seven veils.’
“That was a term I used as a reporter when I found myself covering politicians who spoke a great deal in order to conceal the truth.
“In this case, the truth, the 500-pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to acknowledge, is that America, the nation we once thought was a democracy, albeit flawed, is morphing (or perhaps, already has morphed) into something akin to a police state.
“As the economic status of many Americans has plummeted, their civil liberties, what we used to think of as their ‘rights,’ are being stripped away as well.
“What’s taking shape is a kind of corporate feudalism where former citizens will have no economic security or rights. One of the major reasons why they will be unable to correct this situation is because they will be subject to constant surveillance.
“The official reason for the surveillance will be to ‘protect’ Americans from something called ‘terrorism.’ The real reason will be to protect the rulers from their subjects.
Debating the fine points of the situation (who are they watching? Is this necessary?) misses the point: mass surveillance is a permanent condition and will become more invasive over time.”