Hanes HallbirnTuesday,11 June 2013

The Snap:

A new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll indicates that a majority of Americans believe that the National Security Agency’s routine spying on the telephone and electronic records of U.S. citizens is justified. The NSA’s secretive practice came to light after former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor Edward Snowden released documents detailing the spy agency’s alleged data-collection arrangements with top American technology firms, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

But back to the survey, and here’s the kicker: According to The Washington Post, 56% of survey respondents find the practice “acceptable” in the name of national security; furthermore, “45 percent of all Americans say the government should be able to go further than it is, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks.”

The Download:

To which I say: WTF, America? Have we lost our goddamn minds? I know we all have short attention spans, but have we even managed to read as far as the Fourth Amendment to our own damn Constitution? You know, the one that guarantees our freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Oh, that’s right. We don’t give a shit, obviously. So never mind. No need to read that document. Let’s just sit back and relax over our skinny vanilla lattes while we post no-effort complaints on Facebook.

But while we do, remember that people in Turkey are protesting — and getting sprayed in the face with tear gas — over plans to demolish a park in Istanbul (okay, okay, it’s really a manifestation of what the Huffington Post calls resentment “against gradual encroachment on civil liberties and suppression of dissenting views by the Islamist-rooted government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” but still, it started over plans to raze a park, FFS). But either way, they’re standing up for their beliefs, rather than clinging to some Cold War era dogmatic BS about good guys versus bad guys, with the not-to-be-questioned good guys being on their team (too far?).

But enough about Turkey. We can’t even find that place on a map, right? Instead, let’s ponder Mr. Snowden’s fate for a moment. The guy knows he’s screwed for life, and yet he made a choice to release this information because he believes it was the right thing to do. According to The Guardian:

“‘All my options are bad,’ he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.”

And yet, most of us don’t care, apparently. We’ve gotten so comfortable with our sugar daddy (or perhaps scared of him), that we just don’t want to think about silly things like constitutional guarantees or what happens to snitches. So I’ll let “Tyler Durden” of Zero Hedge put words in our mouths:

“Sorry Edward Snowden: you just threw your life away for nothing. The sheep have been properly and thoroughly conditioned and brainwashed, which is why they continue to get precisely the government they so rightfully deserve.”

You see that last word? Deserve. This is what we deserve.

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Hat Tips:

The Washington Post, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Zero Hedge, Image Credit: Flickr

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