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Curtailment (January 18th, 2014)

 

Yesterday's POTUS speech purportedly curtailing NSA activities disappointed many Americans by not announcing the resignations, firings, or indictments of James Clapper and Keith Alexander and by not ordering the immediate cessation of all controversial and arguably unconstitutional activities. The military-industrial-surveillance complex appears so ensconced at the nation's helm that genuine reforms are not likely to be forthcoming.

Even before the President's speech began, retired flag officer and ex-NSA-chief Michael Hayden's comments seemed to be summing-up officialdom's prearranged stance: "His [POTUS'] mission here, I don't think, is to change what we're doing. His mission here is to make people more comfortable about what it is that the intelligence agencies are doing". A few years ago, back when civilian leadership still could think for itself in overseeing military matters, this was called the prophylactic approach in crudely militarized circles—a way of making targets feel more secure while getting fucked.

Shamefully POTUS yesterday seemed to be parroting some DoD script instead of addressing real cultural problems and repairing damaged international relations. He even said that he would not apologize for having more effective methodologies than those of allies and adversaries—ostensibly stoking America's "we're number one" mindsets in the face of globally intense criticism and righteous anger, which incidentally brings to mind Chalmers Johnson's precise forewarning: "Unfortunately, our political system may no longer be capable of saving the United States as we know it, since it is hard to imagine any president or Congress standing up to the powerful vested interests of the Pentagon, the secret intelligence agencies, and the military-industrial complex." So it goes.

Still there are Americans who recognize the inherent shortcomings of allowing military minds to oversee civilian matters and consequently, like the rest of the world, are fittingly uneasy about America's secret surveillance methodologies. Educable US citizens believe constitutional protections against tyranny to be paramount, and other planetary residents consider international law and common decency of far more enduring import than US military power. Despite obvious facts US officialdom seems immersed in denial and in bed with diminishing cadres of global support. Disinterested observers surmise that America is calculatingly or incidentally hell bent on becoming the common enemy uniting the rest of the world, possibly her only entirely achievable final success.

Every official from the White House down is sworn to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" nonetheless contemporarily act like burgeoning domestic enemies engaged in arguably or blatantly unconstitutional activities or advocating nullification of constitutional protections. There was never a terrorism episode justifying the cowardly knee-jerk anti-terrorism legislation put forth after the Twin Towers event. Every member of Congress who voted for AUMF, PATRIOT, and NDAA 2012 for examples played significant roles in abrogation of the Constitution and attending ill-advised additional empowerments of DoD.

In no case have official actions under this legislation publically documented successes in containing terror yet invariably have further antagonized and distanced reasonableness worldwide from the American camp. Harm does not come from whistleblower concern over constitutional issues rather from lack of official concern about those same issues.

Today's America is most well known and easily identified by potpourris of heartland arrogance and ignorance. Perhaps Allah will ultimately show mercy on her foolishly militarized, inherently self-centered, eventually isolated, ostensibly self-destructive soul. Stranger things have happened.

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