Guest Post: Not Subject to Debate

I heard on NPR today that Obama would like to have a “debate” and a “national discussion” on the NSA data-mining scandal.

Well of course he would. Having a “debate” on an illegimate activity is the very first step needed in making that activity legitimate and acceptable. The same thing happened with torture. Once upon a time, it was unthinkable. Then it was “debatable”.

In regards to Edward Snowden; I would hold off on proclaiming him a “hero” for the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama himself authorized the leaks, in order to make the unthinkable, thinkable.

And what would be the objective of this? To provide a means for any authority figure, from Obama right on down to the lowliest rookie cop, to admit publicly that they snooped on you, without consequence to themselves.

This is a complete breakdown of equality under the law, and an enforcement of arbitrariness (authority figures making up laws as they see fit, and changing them when it suits them). And that’s why this is not subject to debate. We are nation of laws, not of men, and that is the way it has to stay.

Because, as far as “authority figures” are concerned, they are only as powerful as the people who guard them while they sleep. The only thing ELSE that guards them is the rule of law, and once that goes, they’d better hope they made right choice of bodyguard.


  • I agree – and once we decided that some banks and corporations were too big to fail, and that some bank ofishals and investment breakers were too big too prosecute, and that Bush and Cheney were too big to be responsible for their lies, then the whole idea of being equal under the law went further out the window. And if corporations are people, then why can’t we arrest them and their assets until they prove themselves innocent – as we routinely do with Joe Q. Public?

  • That’s not what happened with torture. Executive Order changed the definition. Anything that would formerly have been called ‘torture’, if ordered by the US government, must now be called ‘enhanced interrogation’.

    And about half of Americans, asked about using electrodes to the genitals on someone who might possibly be guilty of terrorism but against whom there isn’t the slenderest shred of evidence, say, ‘Remember, red is positive and black is negative.’

  • Right on Mike and Exo – now the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is trying out the excuse that they wouldn’t have the time or resources to always listen to everyone all the time. I don’t think that’s the issue, do you? Constant evasion and misdirection to avoid the elephant in the backround, eh? By the way, who’s susan stark?

  • Susan Stark
    June 11, 2013 1:48 PM


    I’m a guest blogger here, like Alex is.

  • Susan Stark
    June 11, 2013 1:53 PM


    Unlike Ted, I WILL censor rude and immature comments. Start acting like a grown-up for once.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama himself authorized the leaks, in order to make the unthinkable, thinkable.

    Ridiculous, bordering on the utterly absurd. Consider:

    • Obama has never displayed this level of subtlety or intelligence previously.
    • This level of subtlety is completely unwarranted. Making people comfortable with this is irrelevant. Better to do it and let the next president clean up the shitstorm that its revelation creates. Releasing it now is long-term thinking.
    • Obama does not display long-term thinking when it comes to political shenanigans. Like all of his predecessors in recent memory, he’s out for number 1. About the only president that did something merely because it needed to be done was Bush-fucking-Senior, who raised taxes after Reagan gouged the American people. (Obama’s health care plan is a giveaway to insurance companies — that are causing the health care problem — and a plug to prevent single payer, so it doesn’t count.)
    • Obama wouldn’t have released this data now if he could have helped it — the timing sucks, given the current scandals. Hell, it’s knocking the other scandals off the page. And he’d release it alongside “proof” that the system killed him some terrorists if he had.