As every schoolchild knows, there are three check-and-balance branches of the U.S. government: the executive, Congress, and the judiciary. That’s bedrock Americanism and the most basic high school civics material. Only one problem: It’s just not so.
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges discussed “recent conflicting federal court decisions on the legality of NSA spying” in a talk at the Connecticut Civil Liberties Conference at Central Connecticut State University on Saturday.
In the twenty-first century, the NSS has already generated hundreds of millions of documents that could not be read by an American without a security clearance. Of those, thanks to one man (via various journalists), we have had access to a tiny percentage of perhaps 1.7 million of them.
The language we use to describe the world of the national security state is still largely stuck in the pre-9/11 era. No wonder, for example, it’s hard to begin to grasp the staggering size and changing nature of the world of secret surveillance that Edward Snowden’s recent revelations have allowed us a peek at.
Juan Cole examines the psychological torture of accused whistle-blower Bradley Manning in light of the collapse of Tunisia’s brutal regime. The “monarchical national security state” created by George W. Bush and his cohort can abuse, torment and punish the unconvicted with the best of them.
It’s a sad day when working journalists condemn those who would pry loose a few secrets from the national security state. Glenn Greenwald has done an excellent job tracking the hypocrites, hacks and access addicts. His latest target is Joe Klein (above), who describes WikiLeaks’ work as a “human disaster.” ... (more)