This article was written and originally published by Washington’s Blog.
Editor’s Comment: As far as terrorism goes, it remains true that nearly every major attack is well timed and well scripted to maximize power. The United States and other governments have used these crises to demand more power from its people; they have used it to launch wars and justify drones, missiles, soldiers and especially domestic surveillance systems. Relatively few people have resisted this massive intrusion, and with every new event more and more money is poured into the budgets of the intelligence agencies and military agencies who are supposed to keep us safe, but who rarely if ever catch or stop an attack. The simple reason? The shock value, and the media narrative it creates. A completed attack is much more value than a failed or averted attack.
As Washington’s Blog notes, this surveillance system really puts government in the position to know all about the activities of its society, but unlike the Stasi they can do it rapidly, in near real time, and in detail that would have been incomprehensible to past regimes. The misuse of this data is built into the system, and many individuals have already been harassed and persecuted by it. Think of the incredible changes this policy would make (*if it were ever allowed): “Every time there is a terrorist attack, what we really need to do is demand that they cut the budgets of all the intelligence agencies. And, if they still keep failing, then we need to get rid of them and start the process again with new agencies and new managers.”
Imagine how quickly phony terrorist groups like ISIS would fall if things worked that way.
Top NSA Whistleblower: “Every Time There Is a Terrorist Attack, What We Really Need to Do Is Demand that They CUT the Budgets of All the Intelligence Agencies”
by Washington’s Blog
The highest-level NSA whistleblower in history – William Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, and managed thousands of NSA employees – has a great suggestion for motivating U.S. intelligence agencies to prevent terrorism.
Binney tells Washington’s Blog:
If you want to get into the real reason politicians, companies and agencies are hard over advocates for mass/bulk surveillance, then you need to look at all the money involved. It’s about 100 Billion (that’s with a B) per year.
When NSA Director Alexander said their objective is to “collect it all”, then that simply exposed the underlying reason for all this spying. That committed the government to collecting an ever increasing year-by-year amount of data which takes an ever increasing year-by-year amount of money to do. And to achieve that, they use fear mongering and lies to mislead and bamboozle us into letting them take more and more of our money to achieve very little. [Background.]
So, every time there is a terrorist attack, what we really need to do is demand that they cut the budgets of all the intelligence agencies. And, if they still keep failing, then we need to get rid of them and start the process again with new agencies and new managers. It could be as simple are removing the top 4 layers of management at an agency and replacing them with external people drawn from professional ranks not related to politics or government.
Mass collection on everybody, of course, makes government (including FBI, DEA, DHS, IRS, CIA …) all knowing like a J. Edger Hoover on super steroids or an all knowing Stasi with more complete, accurate, timely, mineable/interrogateable, stored electronic files. This does make the government all knowing and in a position to manipulate and control people just like the KGB or the Stasi did. [Background.]
Also, it represents a total flip of the founding principles of our country. We were supposed to know what the government was doing in our name; the government was not supposed to know what we were doing unless they had probable cause to look at us. [Background here, here and here.]
But, that takes a mainstream media that wants to do their job and keep the public informed.
Postscript: In ancient China, traditional Chinese doctors only got paid as long as their patients remained healthy. If the patients got sick, they stopped paying their doctors.
Binney’s proposal is arguably analogous … pay the intelligence agencies so long as they are bolstering our defenses and keeping our national security “healthy”; stop paying them if we get attacked.