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We Know the NSA Spies on Us—but on Whom Specifically? And Why?
Posted on Dec 29, 2013
We know the NSA has been vacuuming up personal digital data like an obsessive-compulsive house cleaner. What we don’t know is whom the feds have been targeting, and why, as author and journalist Seth Rosenfeld points out in an op-ed piece this week in the Los Angeles Times.
And it’s high time we did, he argues in convincing fashion.
Rosenfeld is the author of “Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power,” which won the 2013 Pen Center USA Award in the “research nonfiction” category. In the op-ed, Rosenfeld details a dark history of government surveillance of American citizens, and notes that it took the Church Committee in the days of post-Watergate cynicism toward government to determine the assaults on civil liberties that occurred under the guise of national security. From the article:
It’s an ugly history, and unfortunately one that informs the present, as revelations of the government’s planting of spies within the peace (see the last item here) and Occupy movements have shown. Yet as Rosenfeld argues, we still don’t know the details of what the government is doing to us, in the name of our own security.
Rosenfeld calls for a new version of the Church Committee to start shining a light into the government’s darkest corners to get answers to some specific questions.
Unfortunately, this Congress, with its obscene partisanship and willingness to harm the country for the sake of some policy points, wouldn’t be the most reliable mechanism for truth finding. Any investigative committee that would involve Rep. Darrell Issa or any of the other right-wing witch hunters would focus less on determining facts than on game playing. And our civil liberties are too important to be used as a game piece.
But what other recourse is there?
—Posted by Scott Martelle.
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