Thursday, November 28, 2013

It Was Inevitable: The NSA is Trolling for Porn Too

With the ever-expanding list of NSA abuses piling up by the week was there ever truly any doubt that it wouldn’t come to light that the American Stasi has been involved in the perusal of pornography?  In the latest revelation to be gleaned from the documents of former Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden a story has broken that Commandant Keith Alexander’s finest have been trolling through the porn habits of suspected “radicalizers” to accumulate potentially embarrassing information.  While the usual sanctimonious horse crap is spewed by big government mouthpieces that the rogue agency "uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence" rest assured that this is in no way limited to a handful of Muslim rabble rousers.  I have maintained that the really bad information on NSA surveillance are yet to break and involve a number of other sordid uses of the high tech surveillance machine, one of which would be the sexual blackmail of public officials.

The article that outed the taxpayer funded porno surfing is written by former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and other contributors and offers up the historical context that is so often missing from any other form of reportage in the lamentable state-corporate media. I excerpt from the piece which was published by the liberal website Huffington Post:

Under J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI harassed activists and compiled secret files on political leaders, most notably Martin Luther King, Jr. The extent of the FBI's surveillance of political figures is still being revealed to this day, as the bureau releases the long dossiers it compiled on certain people in response to Freedom of Information Act requests following their deaths. The information collected by the FBI often centered on sex -- homosexuality was an ongoing obsession on Hoover's watch -- and information about extramarital affairs was reportedly used to blackmail politicians into fulfilling the bureau's needs.
Current FBI Director James Comey recently ordered new FBI agents to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington to understand "the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability."

James Bamford, a journalist who has been covering the NSA since the early 1980s, said the use of surveillance to exploit embarrassing private behavior is precisely what led to past U.S. surveillance scandals. "The NSA's operation is eerily similar to the FBI's operations under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s where the bureau used wiretapping to discover vulnerabilities, such as sexual activity, to 'neutralize' their targets," he said. "Back then, the idea was developed by the longest serving FBI chief in U.S. history, today it was suggested by the longest serving NSA chief in U.S. history."

That controversy, Bamford said, also involved the NSA. "And back then, the NSA was also used to do the eavesdropping on King and others through its Operation Minaret. A later review declared the NSA’s program 'disreputable if not outright illegal,'" he said.

History, which most Americans have neither the time nor respect for unless it is wrapped up in tired and fallacious regurgitating of World War II aka ‘the good war’ analogies contains much precedent when it comes to the myriad abuses against that citizenry by intelligence agencies.  In the past, back when we still had a somewhat functional system of checks and balance and a populace that was better informed instead of the intellectually bereft collection of television watching thumb-suckers that exist today there were at times serious attempts to reign in abuses. For example there was  The  Church Committee which in the aftermath of the twin debacles of Watergate and Vietnam responded to the fiendish actions of the administration of the paranoid Richard M. Nixon sought to institute control over the CIA, NSA and FBI’s cowboy activities. Mr. Church, a Democratic party senator from Idaho on a 1975 episode of a pre-David Gregory Meet the Press stated that:

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.
I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.
It is an earlier variation of Edward Snowden’s statement about why he was leaking all of the insider information that he took from the NSA and "turnkey tyranny":

And the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse, until eventually there will be a time where policies will change, because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy. Even our agreements with other sovereign governments, we consider that to be a stipulation of policy rather than a stipulation of law. And because of that, a new leader will be elected, they’ll flip the switch, say that because of the crisis, because of the dangers that we face in the world, you know, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it, and it’ll be turnkey tyranny.

It should be noted that another member of the Church Committee was Mr. Conservative himself Barry Goldwater which shows that in the past there used to be legitimate bipartisan concern in Congress about protecting the Constitutional rights and civil liberties of Americans. Today we have scum the likes of Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein who abuse their committee chairperson positions to further cement the fascist infrastructure of the surveillance/police state in place. This is by no means limited to the revealed “radicalizers” rest assured that the internet browsing of adult sites (porn) are being compiled and catalogued in Bluffdale, Utah for some yet to be defined future purpose.  Hey, as a libertarian I personally believe that the sexual activities and fantasies of ALL Americans are not a matter that the government should be snooping into.  The only sexual activities and internet activity that should be subject to monitoring is that of child molesters/sexual predators as these filthy degenerates  have no place in any sort of decent society and even this should be subject to warrants and courts other than the secret ones that currently exists.

This latest revelation opens the door to sexual blackmail of elected officials as well as honey traps that would put such individuals in a position of compromise.  For a few examples look at Elliot Spitzer or Anthony Weiner or Louisiana Senator David Vitter the diaper wearing client of the D.C. Madame who unlike the others is still an influential member of the Senate which given his exposure as a pervert should have relegated him to a career outside of where his potential blackmail would affect policy. Blackmail and extortion have always been instrumental to politics but never in history has the might of a high-tech surveillance machine the likes of which has never been seen on earth been allowed to operate with the complete degree of impunity that this monstrosity does.

It would be wise to take very seriously the ongoing revelations of the NSA Stasi as well as to think very seriously about how Mr. Snowden and decades earlier Senator Church have effectively put this into the context necessary so as to illustrate the danger to all of us.