Monday, June 24, 2013

Honest, We Only Do It To Foreigners
    Ever since Edward Snowden gave his fellow Americans more proof that our spy services were busily turning the country into an East German-style surveillance state, the Obama administration has been trying to placate us by lying that it’s only snooping on foreigners.
    That wasn’t very bright, given that 95 percent of the world are foreigners. Not only that, many live in countries that take citizen privacy seriously and have laws against bugging that render the U.S. an outlaw.
    On his stop in Germany last week, Obama got an earful from foreigners, who, after experiencing the Gestapo and the Stasi, weren’t too happy about Uncle Sam violating their laws by emulating those awful organizations in their own country.
    Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe in Hong Kong, the same snoops we lavish with billions to secure us from the bad guys, were embarrassing Obama and the government by letting the desperately wanted Edward Snowden, formerly one of their own, slip through their nets and get away clean. It makes one ask how efficient these expensive spooks really are? In the end all they could do was to hurl empty threats against the nations that helped Snowden.
     And which countries were they? There was Russia, which we are continuing to surround with military bases 20 years after the Cold War. There was China, whose emergence on the world scene Washington and Wall Street expected to “manage.”  Instead, the Chinese committed the horrible anti-American act of managing themselves. There was Cuba, a country we’ve been trying to starve to death for half a century.  And there was Ecuador, whose highly popular government is not exactly in love with us since we tried but failed to overthrow it and kill its president back in 2010. Are those any reason for them not to love, cherish and obey us?
    What’s shocked official Washington is this outright disobedience of the great empire, beginning with the hitherto pliable Hong Kong authorities who let Snowden board a Russian airliner. Typical were the angry remarks by New York’s Senator Schumer, berating Russia’s Putin for defying the empire on Iran, Syria and now Snowden. He sounded like a plantation overseer fuming at an onery slave. 
    Given a carte blanc budget and the massive facilities it’s building, it’s an easy guess that our super duper surveillance state is not all about terrorism, so far a minor problem in the big scheme of things (In fact, since 9/11 we Americans are more likely to be run over by a Hupmobile driven by Judge Crater than fall victim to terrrorism.).
    Rather, it’s apparent that NSA and its public and private confederates want to mine all the world’s data. Not because it would somehow protect us but simply because bureaucracies are infinitely ambitious and treat those who would limit their limitless power as treasonous.
    As usual in such scandals, our corrupt media focus on discrediting the messenger and ignoring the message.  The secret documents revealed by Snowden, Bradley Manning, Daniel Ellsberg and others tell us that Washington and Wall Street operate a global criminal empire that spawns cruel repression, coups and conflicts, endless wars, and untold misery--all to the profit of a tiny few.
    I know, most Americans don’t want to know that.  They'd rather remain blissfully ignorant or indulge the fantasy that our leaders always mean well despite the evils they commit.
    Snowden has done us a great service at the risk of his life. I hope he enjoys a long one.  I can picture him as an old man rocking contentedly on the porch of his finca somewhere special south of the border.