(Article changed on March 11, 2014 at 08:10)
The Senate Intelligence Committee has oversight responsibility for making sure the CIA and other agencies conduct themselves properly. The committee found good reason to suspect that the CIA was snooping on them... and that they didn't like.
So the oversight committee was so angry that it asked the CIA to investigate itself to discover if, in fact, the charges were true. The head of the CIA said that he would do what the committee requested, but apparently was outraged that such a charge could be leveled at the CIA since the CIA would never engage in illegal activities. We will see at some point what their investigation reveals. Whatever it is, it won't be the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
Members of the oversight committee were some of the same folks who voted to give the CIA and NSA permission to snoop on American citizens in the first place, but were surprised and flabbergasted that they would ever be subject to such covert actions themselves.
Well, I think this allows us to connect the dots of what's been going on in America. The NSA, the CIA, and other institutions involved in so called national security issues have the tools and manpower to monitor the conversations, email, and other communications of any and all citizens no matter who they are. There's no way that anyone can stop them since having access to that information can conceivably give the CIA and other agencies the power to blackmail any person they choose. Most everyone has something or someone in their life that they fear or love. That means anyone can be threatened, if push comes to shove, with consequences that would be very difficult to resist. Under the circumstances, power of control rests in the hands of those who lack integrity and a conscience, and who at the same time hold almost all the cards.
So who are those people? Well, we don't really know. The only people who do know are those who are too afraid to say right now. That means we are no longer a free people. But at least now we have a logical explanation for why our elected representatives appear to be so irresponsible and hurtful: They are not free, independent, thinking people... and so our government is no longer of, by, or for the People.
But I say almost because the power they have is an illusion. It is a house of cards that is about to collapse as more of us begin to speak with truth, honor, dignity, compassion, courage, and love.
You might be able to trace the beginnings of the shredding of the Constitution to something as simple as how we entertain ourselves: For example, remember James Bond 007, the man with a license to kill. (Of course he was not an American citizen, but that doesn't matter). The truth is no one has a license to kill because no one has the authority to issue a license to kill. Anyone or any group who would purport to have the power to issue such a license would be committing a crime, perhaps the crime of treason. For the fundamental idea behind our Great Experiment was that no one... no one... no one... is above the law, which is to say, the Constitution... the last and sacred word of what the law is. So no one has a license to kill, or a license to torture, or a license to invade anyone's privacy.
And so those who are engaged in killing others in the absence of a war, declared by Congress, or a death penalty not arrived at by a legitimate legal process (i.e., a timely public trial by a jury of one's peers); or is engaged in wire tapping without satisfying strict requirements as outlined in statutes requiring careful due process of law; or in torturing another human being under any circumstances whatsoever... in fact, any such persons are criminals and ought to be held accountable for their actions.
So all those people who have been engaged in these activities have betrayed their oath of office, and many have, as it turns out, committed treason. And those who took such an oath of office and yet ignored the crimes that we all could see taking place, they too have failed us.
Argue if you want to, but this is the bottom line, we are no longer free, despite the fact that we all have pledged allegiance hundreds of times since we were old enough to remember the words. And this is how it is. This is what we have done to ourselves. And that is why, for example, we can find in Seattle, Washington, 750,000 people parading in the streets to celebrate a sport team's victory. I wonder how many people we could find who care enough about their own freedom to do something thoughtful and useful to get it back.
One of these days, we're going to find out.
You can't be afraid of the truth and expect to remain free.