Friday, June 07, 2013

"Mother, should I trust the government?"

To answer Roger Waters' question, no.  Emphatically, no.  If the public is paying any attention at all these past few weeks, that should be abundantly clear to everyone.

At the Federal level, this administration has shown a congenital inability to deal honestly with the American people.  Whether the issue is Benghazi, the IRS persecution of conservative organizations or its profligate spending, or just how much Big Brother is prying into the lives of citizens in the name of 'security,' the track record indicates you can assume the public statement is 180-out from the truth.
Weeks before the National Security Agency (NSA) began a massive phone sweeping operation on U.S. cellular provider Verizon, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress the agency does not conduct intelligence on American citizens

"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper during the March 12 hearing.  In response, Clapper replied quickly: "No, sir." 
Given that, I'm sure Sen. Wyden finds the UK's Guardian newspaper and the Wall Street Journal interesting reading the past couple of days:
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.
Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.
The arrogance of the executive branch is only exacerbated by their knowledge they have turned much of the corporate media into government scribes:
The New York Times edited its damning editorial condemning the Obama administration for collecting phone call data from Americans to make it less stinging shortly after the editorial was published online Thursday afternoon.
The editorial originally declared that the Obama “administration has lost all credibility” as a result of the recently revealed news that the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been secretly collecting call data from American users of Verizon under the authority of the Patriot Act.
But hours later the stinging sentence had been modified to read the Obama “administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.” [Emphasis added]  The new version of the article contains no indication that it has been changed.

This attempt to control the power of information is not limited to the Feds, however:
Welfare reform crusader (Massachussettes) state Rep. Shaunna O’Connell delivered on her promise yesterday to fork over $800 for long-awaited records on bloated EBT balances, saying the pricey “ransom” was thanks to a surge of donations from fed-up constituents.
O’Connell wrote the check and marched down the hill from the State House to the Downtown Crossing offices of the Department of Transitional Assistance to personally deliver the fee.
“If DTA wants to hold these records hostage and make me pay ransom for them, then I’m going to pay the ransom for them,” she told the Herald as she embarked on her mission. “These should be public records. The public has a right to know.”
Since the state's EBT welfare program is already known to have paid out funds to over 1,000 deceased individuals among other abuses, it's not surprising they'd try to block further scrutiny by charging to provide any additional information.  Meanwhile, in Connecticut:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation into law Wednesday that prevents the public release of crime scene photos and video evidence from the Connecticut school shootings that took the lives of 20 first graders and six school employees.
The new law, a result of efforts to balance private and public interests, creates an exemption to the state's Freedom of Information Act and applies to homicides in Connecticut.
In other words, nobody will be allowed to independently review the facts surrounding an event that was widely touted by those who seek to further disarm Americans.

The revelations come so fast and furious lately (pun intended, for those paying attention) that we all have to face Morpheus' choice: either take the "blue pill" and go back to sleep, believing whatever we want, or to follow the rabbit hole and see just how far down it goes.  I choose not to act like an ostrich.  I wonder how many of my countrymen will do likewise.  As others have pointed out recently, the question today shouldn't be "are you paranoid?"  It should be "are you paranoid enough?"

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