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Government spying: past, present…and future?

An excellent article. Worth the read. Excerpts only below. Includes information that Cynthia McKinney was probably unjustly spied upon in 2005, when she was an elected official:

(excerpt from) Buzzflash
On Domestic Spying, Obama Administration Obfuscates and Jettisons Transparency

by Christine Bowman

Attorney General Eric Holder is talking the talk. Is it reasonable to assume that he will also walk the walk and go to the ropes to defend Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights to private communication? It’s tough to say. The Attorney General’s recent statements and actions have been, alternately, resolute, and vague…

…Lichtblau and Risen report that intelligence officials have told them the NSA’s spying on citizens “in recent months” has involved “significant and systemic” “overcollection.” Others have termed it a dragnet…

There are allegations that even America’s Congressional delegates were spied upon in 2005-2006. Names have not been named, but ongoing speculation at Huffington Post (with many updates) mentions former Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Sen. Bill Nelson and quite a few others as possibly having been the illegally targeted duly elected delegate/spying victim…

Holder, evidently, is telling the American people that he is watching the NSA — at least that much is good news — but that we should just trust him. However, Holder has not gone one step further to enable the American people themselves, or for that matter, journalists, to provide their own oversight directly. Since our democracy is predicated on the governement’s accountability to its informed citizenry, that’s a strange failure, indeed, on the part of the nation’s top guarantor of justice, and top law enforcer.

Still more discouraging is the real possibility that dragnet-style domestic spying, Constitutional or not, may serve no real purpose, unless you like the number of government jobs it must necessitate. Jonathan David Farley, a security expert at Stanford University, argued that position — that “the National Security Agency’s entire spying program seems to be based on a false assumption,” and so is ineffective — very convincingly in his 2006 NYT Op-Ed, “The N.S.A.’s Math Problem.”

If Farley is correct, Attorney General Holder is hiding details and blurring Constitutional lines, despite his own espoused ideals, in order to “keep us safe” — with neither real pragmatism nor Constitutional law to justify it.

The ACLU is calling for the expanded 2008 domestic surveillance law to be struck down.

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