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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/5/14

A Paranoid Government Blankets America With Unprecented Surveillance

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Definition of paranoia from the "Paranoia is an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. Paranoid individuals constantly suspect the motives of those around them, and believe that certain individuals, or people, as a whole, are out to get them."

Can a government actually suffer from paranoia? Of course it can because this government is made up of people, and those in positions of responsibility and authority can, without question, become paranoid about what they see as potential threats from others. Individual paranoia is difficult to deal with but when it spreads throughout individual government agencies it can become an irreversible condition.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on March 12 of this year, Ron Wyden asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper this question: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" "No, sir," Clapper was quoted as saying without hesitation. However, later as he came under great criticism from many circles, in an unclassified letter to Senator Wyden, Clapper essentially admitted that what he said was "not the truth."

When John Brennan, head of the CIA, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer charges that the CIA hacked into the committee's computers, he said: "As far as the allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn't do that. I mean, that's just beyond the scope of reason." He also said, ""Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on the committee or the Senate." After making these statements Mr. Brennan was later forced to privately apologize to the Senate intelligence committee chairs. In other words he was forced to admit he did not tell the truth.

Lying to the U.S. Congress, by law, is a felony. The question is: will this Congress do anything whatsoever to follow through with any form of formal investigation that could lead to appropriate punishment or will it allow these two individuals to continue to flaunt and dismiss congressional authority?

Independent, objective journalists are calling for President Obama to fire John Brennan but the chances of that taking place are not very good. President Obama is sitting right in the middle of this scandalous situation and has shown no signs that he is the least bit troubled by any of it. We should not be the least bit surprised by his lack of concern because it fits in perfectly with the warnings that have been issued by his administration to future whistleblowers and current journalists who might become too zealous in their investigations of government abuses and cover-ups.

This government spying is not just directed against the people and the Senate. In the category of "Can you believe this" what about this: About a year ago it was reported that Mr. Obama had ordered federal employees to watch for and report any suspicious behavior on the part of their colleagues. This is called the Insider Threat Program. Can you just imagine how this government is going to function effectively when employees in a given agency are watching each other and maybe those in other closely associated agencies?

Are we going to see the members of this government's 17 separate intelligence agencies monitoring the activities and recording the statement of their fellow employees?

If this government's extreme case of paranoia spreads throughout this country and this society what might follow? Will the people have their own version of the Insider Threat Program by which we will see millions of Americans spying on each other, within families, the workplace, in our neighborhoods, in schools and colleges or even in church?

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on OpEdNews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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