about the current frou frah. There are many who urge us all to calm down, the government isn't snooping into your e-mails or phone calls. They're just saving their own database of information about every single phone call made in, to or from the United States -- who called what number and how long they talked, and maybe where they were physically if that's available -- in case they want to check any of it out later. And they can get all sorts of Internet activity by foreigners, which of course could include interactions with Americans but they try not to get the latter on purpose without a court order. So no biggie.
Okay, a few dots to connect here . . .
1) This is costing us bazillions of dollars. (We don't know exactly how many because it's a secret. The NSA has 20,000 employees, but that's just the beginning. There are something like 1 million people working for U.S. intelligence. They're creating billions of dollars of additional computer infrastructure. They're new data center in Utah draws 60 megawatts of electricity to run its computers. . . .
2) Meanwhile we supposedly can't afford food stamps . . .
3) Why was this a secret? Presumably any evildoer who has one neuron to rub against another assumes his phone calls and Facebook posts are available to the NSA already . . .
4) The whole Global War on the Existential Threat of Terrorism thing is complete bullshit. The only "terrorist plots" they've managed to thwart since 9/11, as far as we know, consist of dipshit losers who were recruited by provacateurs and given fake weapons. Mueller and Stewart, in the linked article which you aren't allowed to read, inventory all 50 of them. They're all like that. Sample:
49. Tampa, 2012. Under suspicion after he walked into a store seeking to purchase an al-Qaida flag, an Albanian-American loner in Tampa, Florida, plots with a police officer to detonate a car bomb, fire an assault rifle, wear an explosive vest, and take hostages, in addition to bombing nightclubs, a police center, a bridge, and a Starbuck's coffee shop. . .
44. Seattle. 2011. Two financially destitute men, angry over U.S. foreign policy, are arrested in Seattle after they purchase an FBI-supplied machine gun that they plan to use to attack a military recruiting center after they save up enough money to purchase bullets . . . .
And it goes on and on like that. We have a lot of problems we ought to be spending money on, but this isn't one of them. The original al Qaeda, that perpetrated the Sept. 11 attack, has never put together another action of consequence anywhere in the world and no longer exists. The brand name has been taken over by various organizations avenging local grievances in the Middle East. Even in 2001, more than ten times as many Americans died in car crashes as died from terrorism.This is essentially a minor, if not non-existent problem to begin with.
But the national security state is a gravy train for Booze Allen corporation and many other government contractors, and it's created all sorts of sinecures within government. Like the War on Drugs and the prison industry, it's now a very powerful vested interest.
And that's why it's a secret. Because if we know all about it, and we have an honest political debate about it, we'll stop doing it.