Beyond Snowden: putting democracy into national security

“In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s disclosures, public debate largely focused on balancing personal privacy and national security interests as they relate to governmental collection of communications data.  While this approach is fruitful, it consumes so much attention that it inadvertently overshadows a fundamental question: who authorized the government’s wide-reaching national security policies and who oversees and reviews their implementation?”

Bringing democracy to national security policy | TheHill.


  1. Andrew Everett says:

    Thanks to Snowden & Greenwald…Finally a meaningful follow-up to Carl Bernstein’s 1977 investigative report on “The CIA and the Media.” It only took 37 years–a fearless whistleblower willing to give up his life (and an actual investigative reporter willing to be arrested should he come back to the U.S.).

    It seems apparent that the press has become every bit the Governing Media which Peter Dale Scott has referred to. The Corporate MSM has been corrupted–sometimes the writers, but more often it is the publisher or editors. The Governing Media shapes stories instead of seeking the truth. The Governing Media will omit facts, hide the facts on Page 19– or even omit a story altogether. The Governing Media will not question the “official story.” This has become apparent over the last 50 years as we have seen the press fail to question the Warren Commission, fail to receive answers after the House Select Committee on Assassinations, fail to be the check on power during the Iran-Contra Hearings, and fail to question any of the 9/11 Commission findings. More recently, we have seen the Governing Media refuse to seriously investigate both the Wikileaks and the Snowden revelations. (Surely, there were some outlets who covered it–most often it was treated with scorn by anchors; while newspapers stuck the revelations in the back of the paper–if at all).

    I have personally been boycotting the Governing Media–I won’t buy the NYT or Time-Life; I won’t watch cbs, nbc, abc, cnn, fox (nor will I view their web pages). The Governing Media is hurting because they have compromised themselves and lost credibility. The young have turned away in droves and I would bet minorities have as well. We can see the cable “news” stations shuffling chairs as if that will fix their problem.

    As it has now become apparent that the Governing Media is a huge part of the problem–I invite you to CANCEL your cable (they all get paid a percentage each month whether you watch them or not), CANCEL your “newspaper” subscription (and boycott their web pages as well). I’m proud to say I did not watch the Super Bowl for the first time in my life (heard it was a patriotic affair). I feel it is even more important to do this now because we can no longer feel free to join a peaceful organization without being spied on, having our names put on a list or being faced with intimidating tactics should we decide to attend a peaceful demonstration. It seems the only things we can do is to inform ourselves, CANCEL our subscriptions and BOYCOTT the Governing Media.

    • Jonathan says:

      Andrew, I’m with you on the boycott. Haven’t watched TV since 2006 and don’t subscribe to any print media. Get all my information and opinions off the internet. To hell with the NYT, CNN, CBS, TIME, and the other outlets of disinformation.

      Judy Miller did it for me with the NYT. I gave up on CBS in the 1960s.

      • Andrew Everett says:


        so when Edward R. Murrow left–you did, too!!! Smart move.

        here’s a quote from Murrow: During the daily peak viewing periods, television in the main insulates us from the realities of the world in which we live. If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: Look now, pay later.

  2. Jason L. says:

    I think a better question is: “is oversight even possible?”

    1) We know oversight right now is basically pro forma, at best 2) the NSA has the power to gain a lot of damaging information about basically anyone, including members of congress and the president. So are 1 and 2 related?

    This gets back to the question that is begged by the JFK assassination story. What kind of country do we live in exactly?

  3. Jonathan says:

    “who authorized the government’s wide-reaching national security policies and who oversees and reviews their implementation?”

    Congress of course, with presidential approval.

    The remedy here is political. And as the NSA scandal and lies show, the president does bend somewhat to political heat in matters of so-called national security.

    Not to wax political, but what’s needed are more politicians like Rand Paul, who tolerate none of this egregious invasion of privacy.

    Liberty comes at certain costs. One of those costs is exposure to certain risks. Safety and liberty are at opposite ends of the teeter tauter. Our government tempts us with promises (false promises at that, unenforceable promises) of safety and in return demands that we relinquish liberty. Bad deal every time. Whether at the airport or on the telephone.

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