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"Enemy of the State" - But, Who's Really The Enemy?

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All this talk about the NSA spying on US citizens had me yearning to see one of my favorite movies of all time - "Enemy of the State". If you haven't seen this film, I urge you to go down to your nearest video store and rent it. It is well worth viewing.

The Plot...

... is about the NSA's domestic spying program. Oddly enough, there's legislation in the works to expand the NSA's spying scope and authority... all under the guise of protecting America and 'National Security', of course. It starts out with Jon Voight, who is a big honcho in the NSA, trying to negotiate with a Congressman (Jason Robards). At the end of the conversation Voight's henchmen kill the Congressman , but it's all caught on tape by an environmental engineer who just happened to have a stationary, motion-activated camcorder pointed towards the crime scene (he was studying the migratory patterns of geese). Anyway, as the story continues, the NSA uses all its resources to retrieve the evidence, which happens to fall into the possession of Will Smith (unknowingly). As a side note, Jack Black ('School of Rock') and Seth Green ("SCOTT!!!!!") play interesting roles on the NSA spy team.

I don't want to give too much more of the plot away (although I will say that Gene Hackman has an awesome role as an ex-NSA agent), but the crux of this movie is around the technology that the NSA employs & deploys to monitor, track, research, and altogether harass Will Smith, in the process of attempting to retrieve the evidence. Real-time satellite imagery, electronic & video surveillance, and the very latest, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology is displayed and highlighted. Granted this movie is fiction, but I sincerely doubt that very much, if any, of this technology is fiction.

No Oversight

Did they get any stinkin' warrants to tap phones? What do you think? Well, it might have been done in one of the deleted scenes that didn't make the final cut for the movie, but I doubt that too. My guess is that NSA does, in fact, have all this technology and capability. And without oversight, either Congressional or Judicial, there's literally nothing stopping them from using this technology in very unscrupulous ways that were not intended.

How do we know that the National Security Agency, which is essentially an extension of the US President (a Republican, neo-conservative, right-wing, born-again, evangelical, secretive, lying, hypocritical, evil, war-mongering, politically-motivated excuse of a Commander-in-Chief), isn't using this technology to spy on Democrats & other political enemies? Without proper oversight, we don't. We're just supposed to trust them. And by the way... don't think for one minute that 'proper oversight' is simply a matter of informing a couple of rubber-stamping Congressmen that the program exists.

'Enemy of the State' is an eye-opener, and every American should see it. Then, come back here and try convincing me that privacy isn't important. Bullcrap!
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Scott Shuster is a progressive columnist, publishing since May of 2005. His liberal ideology is a refreshing diversion from 'politics as usual' in Washington.
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