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The Emerging War Within America: Government Versus Its Own Citizens

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/48973657@N00/9048181665/: 匿名-... Anonymous (Guy Fawkes Mask) / 香港聲援-諾登遊行 Hong Kong Rally to Support Snowden (SnowdenHK) / SML.20130615.7D.42258
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There is a war brewing in American that, in times past, could not have been predicted nor even imagined. A wide net of surveillance has been cast not only on whistleblowers, activists, and dissenters but also across this nation and, specifically, on its people who, in the eyes of this paranoid government, are to be feared and can't be trusted.

This is not your typical war that involves invasions and occupations of other nations; it is a war that involves the invasion of American's rights and freedoms and will, if allowed to continue unabated, lead to the destruction of the U.S. Constitution as well as our democracy.

It began with the War on Terror that was designed to scare the American people into accepting and condoning a state of perpetual war in order to assure that they could remain safe; and the majority of them bought it hook, line and sinker. But how many of us imagined that all this emphasis on security would lead to "government of the people" being transformed into the "government versus the people?"

We are watching the proliferation of a war on whistleblowers, dissidents, activists and anyone else who attempts to sound the alarms about these secret surveillance systems that are now closely monitoring the communications of the American people as well as people around the world. Check out this article by Tom Hintze entitled "5 Ways the U.S. Government Has Built An Architecture Of Oppression." He quotes Brian Jenkins, a counter-terrorism expert and high-level consultant who helped create the first database of international terrorists in 1971 as saying that "What we have put in place is the foundation for a very oppressive state."

That's exactly the point: he is apparently saying that the NSA surveillance is merely the foundation of a system that can grow exponentially and have virtually no restrictions or limits on its capability to enter into the lives of the American people. Any future president will have an extremely powerful tool that can be used in a myriad of ways to monitor what each of us is doing and what we are saying.

And as dangerous to our freedoms and privacy that this may be, the reaction by the mainstream media has been largely one of indifference. However, there are several media lightweights, including David Gregory of NBC News, that have advanced the premise that Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the NSA spying story, may be guilty of aiding and abetting Snowden in a crime against the U.S. government. This is not the least bit surprising given the politically incestuous relationship between this government and the lapdog mainstream media.

These pseudo-journalists should be made to understand that their reckless accusations could have an adverse effect on this nation's Constitutional right of the freedom of speech as exercised by its journalistic community. When we have a situation that is turning activists, dissenters and whistleblowers into an endangered species, the last thing that we can afford to see happen is to have the last remaining real journalists in this country, those who are not afraid to expose serious government abuses, be silenced and muzzled forever. Check out this article about the late Michael Hastings and the email he sent in which he indicated he was concerned about an FBI probe.

In this battle brewing in America the key issue should not be the roles of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald the U.K. Guardian newspaper or Wiki leaks involvement. The overriding issue and question should be: did the NSA, at the direction of its officials illegally take actions to monitor the communications of the American people and invade their privacy? And, by these actions, did they intentionally mislead, deceive and lie to the U.S. Congress to cover up their deeds?

There are those who might say that this situation came about because of the incompetence of this Congress in carrying out their monitoring and oversight of government agencies, and that certainly was a contributing factor. But while Congress can be accused of allowing this to happen, there is no justification for the NSA to have bypassed Congressional authority as mandated by the Constitution.

Therefore, if it's determined that the officials of this agency have indeed misled and lied to the Congress then it makes this a very serious infraction of the law. If there is adequate evidence a Congressional investigation should be launched, and if the NSA is found to have violated the law and lied to Congress, then wholesale resignations going straight to the top should follow and the Obama administration should be made to fully explain why it fully and vigorously supported and defended actions that they should have known were illegal.

Some writers are comparing this NSA spying scenario with the President Nixon's Watergate Scandal but what's going on now is far more serious and threatening to our democracy. When Nixon sent his "plumbers" to do his spying they performed their work against the Democratic Party. But this current scandal in the making is one where the harm being done is not to any political party but, rather, to the people of America and our democracy.

This new war within America may be shocking to many Americans but, you know what? It's just the beginning and it's very likely to get a lot worse. First we witnessed PFC Bradley Manning and Wiki leaks' Julian Assange as they found ways by which to expose highly questionable government actions; and now it's Edward Snowden. Well, there are many more of these computer geeks and masters at hacking and other means by which to extract information from electronic files -- and many of them are greatly disillusioned and angry at the actions of the government as it restricts the freedoms of Americans and invades their privacy.

Going into the future I believe that we will see this current scenario played out time and again with ever more whistleblowers finding new ways to gather governmental information. They may or may not flee the country for safe overseas havens but based on the reactions from nations around the world relative to the Snowden affair, it looks like there will be many countries that will give them political asylum as a way to get back at what they consider to be an America that has plans for world domination.

How about this for turning on your friends? America's NATO allies that helped it fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, those that still allow thousands of U.S. troops to remain in their countries, are now finding out that their great friend and ally is also spying on them. German officials are incensed after they learned of NSA surveillance of their phone and internet communications; and, as a result, German Federal Prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against U.S. and British spies that may be involved.

Besides that, a U.S. new trade pact with the European Union is now threatened because of revelations that EU offices in Washington and the UN in New York have been bugged and phone calls and emails of EU officials intercepted. What in the world is going on with America, formerly known as the "beacon of hope for the world?"

In case we think that our government is only spying on its people in this country and those in other nations, here's an article that talks about the fact that the Obama administration is developing an "Insider Threat Program" in which millions of government employees will be required to spy on their co-workers and report any suspicious behavior. What we have here is a case whereby whistleblowers in this government will be reporting on their fellow whistleblowers.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
 
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Will the American people continue to passively wat... by michael payne on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013 at 4:05:48 PM
We are witnessing the progression of the 50+ year ... by Tom Madison on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013 at 5:46:41 PM
This is a good opinion piece, Michael.  It is... by Dr. Tom Baldwin on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013 at 6:42:12 PM
I came across this link to the New York Times at a... by frang on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013 at 7:07:33 PM
There is no end to this spying in America as y... by michael payne on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013 at 7:58:01 PM
Still love this country, despite what's happening ... by Steve Hopkins on Thursday, Jul 4, 2013 at 6:53:43 AM
With consolidating wealth and power, there is no n... by Jack Flanders on Thursday, Jul 4, 2013 at 9:12:20 AM
I wonder which side the Churches in America are on... by Davey Jones on Friday, Jul 5, 2013 at 11:58:07 AM
I fully share the sentiments of this article and f... by Patrick Walker on Friday, Jul 5, 2013 at 12:04:48 PM
You are all going to love this link as it gives us... by Deborah Dills on Friday, Jul 5, 2013 at 1:35:12 PM
"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge t... by E. J. N. on Friday, Jul 5, 2013 at 9:45:17 PM