By Dan DeWalt
"If people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust Congress, and don't trust federal judges, to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here."
-- President Barack Obama
While President Obama used the right words in this quote, he clearly is taking the public for idiots.
Because as he surely is aware, we do have some big problems. They are not caused by misguided citizens who foolishly mistrust their government, though. Rather, our problems stem from the fact that our leaders, including him, have consistently lied to us, been corrupted by big money and have acted to benefit corporate interests to the detriment of the commonweal.
On March 12 of this year, when Obama's National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a congressional inquiry that the government does not wittingly conduct surveillance of Americans, he was lying. He was deliberately deceiving the very people upon whom we're told to rely to exercise oversight and safeguard our rights. When caught out in his lie by the disclosures of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Clapper additted his prevarications, saying he had tried to give "the least untrue answer" he could come up with.
Obama himself too, subsequent to Snowden's disclosures of the NSA's nationwide vacuuming up of all electronic communications of all Americans, has radically changed his tune about the surveillance techniques which he criticized under President Bush but has now embraced fully.
At this point, when it comes to our elected and appointed leaders, we can trust only that their words are untrustworthy.
Trust Congress? Venal, corrupted, pawns of their powerful financial contributors, feckless posturing maintainers of the status quo; not too much to trust there.
How about the courts? How much trust can we gin up for the brilliant black robed justices who have anointed corporations with personhood? When they go duck hunting with a torture advocating Vice President one day, and rule on the constitutionality of his draconian national security laws the next, how much trust do they inspire?
No Mr. President, the problem is not with us, it is squarely with you and the National Security State that preceded you and that you have continued to further expand and empower.
Over the past few weeks your security apologists have been wagging their tongues about all of the terrorist acts that they claim have been thwarted by this unconstitutional eavesdropping, but they all seem to have forgotten something: nobody ever gave your or any other administration permission to trade in our Constitution in exchange for a supposedly safe and secure "homeland".
In fact, if it were not for successive U.S. administrations' policies that have helped tyrants oppress their citizens, if it were not for our aggressive and destructive military adventures throughout the world, we would not be facing the level of terrorist threats that we have today. Terrorism is not some mysterious, misguided and undecipherable phenomenon. It is a direct response to American foreign policies that alienate and enrage those whom it affects.
So first you ignore the interests of the American people in order to serve the interests of the corporate and financial titans. Then, when the chickens start coming home to roost, you use that as an excuse to create a national security state where we're all supposed to accept the loss of privacy and live under full-time surveillance as if it were all natural and nothing to worry about.