Just in case they need a little persuading, however, I would suggest that the threat of an international boycott of the state of Utah hanging over their heads might push them in the right direction.
That may not be necessary, however, because it looks to me like the local political dynamics are moving in the right direction. If the effort looks like it's going to succeed, you can expect both the neocon right and the "progressive" left to come down hard on the Beehive State. While the former will denounce the nullification movement as an assault on our "national security," the "progressive" argument, as enunciated by the Center for American Progress's Zack Beauchamp, is that this will lead to the reintroduction of slavery, racial segregation, and secessionism!
It's a pathetic argument, and one I dealt with here. However, let us stop and pay tribute to the sheer demagogy of Beauchamp & Co., whose "thinktank" is fat with big donations from military contractors and Obama administration insiders. Their answer to the libertarian and authentic left critique of the NSA is pure race-baiting -- the Joan Walsh argument, which characterizes each and every proposal to scale back our overweening federal government as a conspiracy to impose White Supremacy.
As ready-made as this cheap "argument" is for the McCarthyite atmosphere bubbling over in Washington, it isn't going to enjoy much traction in Utah -- or, indeed, anywhere outside of the offices of the Center for American Progress. To say that the entire post-New Deal apparatus of the welfare state is going to suddenly collapse because the people of Utah decided not to countenance a spy facility in their midst is beyond absurd.
Notice the similarity of this "progressive" argument to the fear-mongering of the neocons, who hold up the specter of another 9/11 to justify our emerging police state: if we let the locals kick out the NSA Data Center, says Beauchamp, something terrible is going to happen -- the blowing apart of the American nation-state.
What is really going on here is that the residents of Official Washington, who are sitting on a gold mine of government money -- and inflated real estate values -- while the rest of the country is in the poorhouse, are jealous of their assumed prerogatives. Beauchamp and his fellow Beltway "progressives" don't think those hicks out in the cornfields should have a say about what uses their resources are put to. That's a decision for Washington bureaucrats -- Beauchamp's buddies -- to make.
Well I have news for Beauchamp: this burgeoning nationwide movement to liberate us from the NSA's unwanted embrace isn't going to be stopped by some harebrained conspiracy theory. The American people, no matter what their politics, have had enough, not only of the NSA but of an intellectually bankrupt "progressive" movement that has sold its soul to James Clapper.
As I am writing this, I've just learned that Iowa state senator Jake Chapman (R-Adel) has introduced the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which directs state agencies and subdivisions to not "provide material support for participation with or assistance to, in any form, any federal agency which claims the power, or which purports due to any federal law, regulation, or order, to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place or thing to be searched or seized."
"When I took the oath of office, I swore to support the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the great State of Iowa. This federal agency has usurped our Constitutional rights. My bill affirms our Constitutional rights and protects the citizens of Iowa. We have learned in recent months through investigations and through the media, the NSA is collecting and storing nearly 30 percent of all Americans' call records, they collect and store over 200 million text messages daily, and they are tracking American's through social media, including GPS tracking. We must not trade freedom for security. My bill may not protect all Americans, but it will certainly protect Iowans."
Forget dealing with this in Washington -- the corrupt capital of a world empire that has no regard for the Constitution or the opinions of those they supposedly represent. The only way to dismantle the monstrous Panopticon built in secret by our wise rulers is to subvert it at the local level. We're through with supplication -- now let's move to resistance.
Let the battle cry go up: Turn it off!
Resources for local activism:
- Tenth Amendment Center -- model legislation and practical tips
- Bill of Rights Defense Committee -- Supported by Dan Ellsberg, Naomi Wolf, and other progressive defenders of the Constitution.
- The OffNow Coalition -- keep track of our progress and collaborate with local activists.
- My piece on "How to Fight the NSA -- and Win" -- download and print to educate your friends and colleagues.