Tag: warrantless wiretaps

Whistleblowers and Warrantless Wiretaps

From Glenn Greenwald…

Most of what the U.S. Government does of any significance — literally — occurs behind a vast wall of secrecy, completely unknown to the citizenry.  While a small portion of that is legitimately classified, these whistle blower prosecutions and other disclosure controversies demonstrate that the vast majority of this secrecy is devoted to avoiding embarrassment and accountability.  It has nothing to do with “national security” — one of the all-justifying terms (along with Terrorism) for what the Government does.  Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption.  That’s why whistle blowers are among the most hated heretics.  They’re one of the very few classes of people able to shed a small amount of light on what actually takes place.

The great irony is that there is a perfect inverse relationship between the secrecy powers of the Government (which rapidly increase) and the privacy rights of citizens (which erode just as rapidly). The citizenry meekly acquiesces to the notion that it must sacrifice more and more privacy to the Government in order to deter and expose criminality, corruption and other dangerous acts of private citizens, yet refuses to apply that same rationale to demand greater transparency from the Government itself.  The Government (and its private corporate partners) know more and more about citizens, while citizens know less and less about the actions of the government-corporate axis which governs them.

Glenn Greenwald posted this pearl in the pigpen of American political discourse on Bastille Day, July 14th, and isn’t all the relevant evidence excruciatingly familiar to all of us in the progressive blogosphere, and didn’t we totally overlook the simple and now obvious “inverse relationship between the secrecy powers of the Government and the privacy rights of citizens?”

So let’s take a moment to thank our (not very) lucky stars for bloggers like Glenn Greenwald and Paul Krugman and Dean Baker, and ask ourselves why all of them are blogging, instead of running the show.