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Surveillance, Secrecy, and Control in the Age of Big Brother

By Rodrigue Tremblay  Posted by Lance Ciepiela (about the submitter)     Permalink
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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 7/29/13

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(Article changed on July 29, 2013 at 19:45)

(Article changed on July 29, 2013 at 18:49)

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America Lost by

"We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

George Orwell (1903-1950)

(Eric Arthur Blair), English novelist, essayist, and social critic (author of the book "1984") 

"I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

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Edward Snowden (1983- ), American patriot who revealed the Police State tactics of the U.S. government (June 10, 2013)

"In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material--and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistle-blowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an 'executive coup' against the U.S. Constitution."

Daniel Ellsberg (1931- )

American economist and military analyst. (In 1971, during the Richard Nixon administration, he released a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War.) 

"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. By definition."

Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), (British reporter David Frost's interview with President Richard Nixon broadcast in May 1977.) 

Some American presidents reveal their true character only during their second terms. Without the obligation to campaign for a re-election and with leaks of past misbehavior, the mask of pretense falls and the person's true colors show. Then more inappropriate behavior and abuse of power follow and scandal tends to pile upon scandal. It happened to President Richard M. Nixon, also known as "tricky Dick". It is now happening to President Barack H. Obama.

In the case of President Richard Nixon, his second term was mired by a series of events surrounding the Watergate Scandal and other allegations of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of his 1972 re-election. On October 20, 1973, Nixon used strong-armed tactics to have Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been appointed to investigate the Watergate scandal and White House cover-ups, fired. Soon afterwards, impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives began, resulting in President Nixon's resignation less than one year later, on August 9, 1974.

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President Barack Obama has begun his second term with a series of scandals. Just a few months after his re-election, instances of abuse of power began to surface at a fast pace. The most serious scandal is the revelation that the U.S. government is involved in warrantless surveillance, keeping track of telephone calls and Internet emails of Americans, including those of journalists and reporters. 

This revelation, in addition to the fact that the Obama administration has had the IRS targeting conservative groups--a throw-back to the Nixon administration targeting the income-tax returns of Nixon's "enemies"--is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizure, and of the First Amendment that prohibits the making of any law ... infringing on the freedom of the press

It is very difficult for a police state-to-be to be respectful of the country's constitution, because when a government gives itself the power to access private financial, medical, consumer-sales records like book purchases, besides Toll records, phone calls and Internet communications and searches, without the consent of the law-abiding individuals concerned and with no court order, it nearly automatically attacks the democratic rights of privacy of the people. When government officials secretly snoop on citizens and begin infringing on individual freedom and privacy, the worm is in the apple. 

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