June 19, 2013
By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher
The last installment asked “Why?” This installment asks “What If?” and “What Now?”
If the Government’s endgame is to find out “What If” Americans knew or saw a given thing; then Americans should be prepared to answer, in light of those revelations, the question of “What now?”
You know what cracks me up? Scandals like that of the IRS or the NSA get exposed, and what happens? People with Stage 5 Stockholm Syndrome call for the heads of the whistleblowers; those who are put out by the news will grumble and share posts on Facebook… but otherwise return to their regularly scheduled programming; those upset by it will write blogs like this (and maybe even write some taunting messages utilizing a minimum of 15 of the NSA/DHS “buzz words” and post them on Facebook), but continue to utilize cell phones and social media; and the government will make an example of a few folks to convince us that a systemic problem has been fixed by the turnover of employees in any given government agency.
In the end, nothing changes. Why? Because the reality is there is no recourse against the government’s wrong-doing. This is why cops who kill innocent people get a reprimand and transferred to a different district, while innocent people who have harmed no one get years in jail for not paying a ransom. You have the executive branch essentially calling perma-surveillance a mere “trade-off” for safety. It’s not a total infringement upon or a relinquishment of freedom! Just an inconvenience.
In an interview with Charlie Rose from PBS, President Obama offers the following:
“…We don’t have to sacrifice our freedom in order to achieve security. That’s a false choice. That doesn’t mean that there are not tradeoffs involved in any given program, in any given action that we take. So all of us make a decision that we go through a whole bunch of security at airports, which when we were growing up that wasn’t the case…. And so that’s a tradeoff we make, the same way we make a tradeoff about drunk driving. We say, ‘Occasionally there are going to be checkpoints. They may be intrusive.’ To say there’s a tradeoff doesn’t mean somehow that we’ve abandoned freedom. I don’t think anybody says we’re no longer free because we have checkpoints at airports.”
Journalist, Naomi Wolf, said she found some of the Snowden leak to be a little contrived… insinuating that perhaps the leak was deliberate on the part of the US government. (It is rather hard to accept this as a staged event, considering the corroboration from the likes of Thomas Drake and William Binney.) Her observations and arguments were rather weak, but still, let’s say for just a moment this was deliberate. Naomi contends that the NSA and other federal agencies WANT us to know we are being watched. That perhaps all of this is a bit of a scare tactic to remind us what happens when you nark on the federal government.
I don’t think so. My initial response was to deny there was any benefit to be had at all, if this was indeed staged by the feds. But that would only be true in a vacuum. One recent event stands out: Watertown, MA. They didn’t want to call it Marshall Law, but that’s exactly what it was. They called it “shelter-in-place”. 9,000 officers with AR15s going door to door, dragging people out, conducting warrantless searches and driving tank-like vehicles down their little roads. THAT is not how you catch a scared 19 year old little boy.
If they REALLY wanted to catch him, everyone would’ve gone back to business as usual, a few plain clothes officers would be left walking the streets with all the other residents, and the boy would’ve eventually come out or would’ve been found. The fact that 9,000 trained officers couldn’t find him EVEN after the warrantless searches shows how inept they are and how ridiculous their response was. All of this assumes the goal was to find and apprehend this 19 year old boy… I don’t believe that was the goal at all.
It accomplished one very important thing: it proved that by and large the American citizenry will comply and cooperate with such illegal tactics if scared enough, they will not put up any fight whatsoever, and they will thank and cheer on the officers who carry out these hideous violations of liberty against them.
It answered the very critical question: What would the American people do if…?
Now look at this NSA leak. Take that question and apply it here: What would the American people do if they found out what the NSA was doing?
This is what the federal government stands to gain: the answer to this question. Each person must answer that… not with their words or indignation, but with their actions. Given this information, what now?
We are all victims of having our rights violated by the US Government. Please don’t think you are off the hook because you don’t live in the US or aren’t a US citizen. They are watching you too. By no means do I condemn any actions or inactions taken by anyone. When a victim of rape or murder is unable to get away or successfully defend themselves, in NO WAY does that translate into consent to be raped or murdered. Might NEVER makes right. Period.
I once got into a discussion about pacifism with someone. I don’t necessarily advocate it for all people under all circumstances, but for myself, if someone larger than me attacked, my best bet for survival is to try and get away… not to try and take on the beast directly and expect to win in a physical match. I see the government in the same way: it is too big to take on directly for any one individual or even a group of people. Our next best option, if our goal is to survive and live as free as possible, is to get away. We do actually have a course of action. If slaves could build an “underground railroad” to escape to the north back before the American Civil War, then slaves today should be able to do the same. And that is my proposed solution.
Much like the image of Fezzik (played by Andre the Giant) and Wesley (played by Cary Elwes) having to fight in “The Princess Bride”, what Fezzik had in brute strength, Wesley had in speed and limberness. We are the Wesleys. The Government is Fezzik. We can decentralize ourselves, diversify our holdings, globalize our identities, and encrypt our data. I say this knowing I’ve done nothing of the sort… yet. Actions such as those are quite important and necessary, but they take some means and planning.
No, I don’t think voting, petitioning, lobbying, civil disobedience, and becoming pen pals with career politicians is the answer. I think that’s tantamount to dogs begging at the tables of their masters for scraps. It’s degrading and humiliating and as free individuals we are well above any such behavior, and we are intelligent enough to know that begging doesn’t bring about change… it gets us enough to shut up for a while. All that got us HERE!
I believe Ayn Rand was onto something when she called for producers to just go on strike. Maybe I just don’t need to be here in the USSA anymore. Maybe I don’t even need to be one of your citizens that you can mooch off of. Maybe I don’t need to produce for you. Maybe I don’t need to keep my money here. Maybe I need a house in Chile. Or a trust fund in the Cook Islands. Or a business in Nevis. Maybe, I take that big stack of cards that represents EVERYTHING you could ever get from me, and just drop it off a plane from 3 miles in the air and let you try to pick up the pieces… Maybe.