Can you tell–I could not if I had not seen them in news stories–who said “Our leaders, even the worst of them, are not totalitarian. But our technology is totalitarian.”? And this: “the essential apparatus of a police state is already in place”? Could have been Rand Paul or Amy Goodman or Glenn Beck or Noam Chomsky, I suppose. But those were Peggy Noonan and Al Gore, venerable insider interpreters of Republican and Democratic talking points, who disagree on a lot but are putting out a very similar message here. The purveyors of the security state’s official story are pushing familiar buttons–the leaker is an unstable egotistical traitor; and without our programs you are all going to be killed–but there is pushback from too many sides–possibly most significantly EU countries–to squelch or marginalize easily, I believe. President Obama may truly be interested in a debate, but the surveillance state does all it can to keep all critique way out on the fringes. Now it is off-balance, as are both political parties, amid signs of the usual ideological synchronization, data validation, monitoring, and memory management breaking down (applying computer science “crosscutting concerns” loosely here to the current political situation). This is an opportunity for debate outside the usual terms of reference.
- Hendrik Hertzberg: Difficult questions about the N.S.A. (newyorker.com)
- Al Gore: NSA Surveillance Programs Violate The Constitution (thinkprogress.org.feedsportal.com)
- Whistleblowers and the economy of esteem (economist.com)