The NSA does not protect the American people. The NSA does not help catch terrorists. The NSA does not stop terrorist attacks.
The NSA does protect the American government from the American people. The NSA does threaten the freedom and liberty of the American people. The actions of the NSA do display the ongoing moral degradation of the American government. The NSA does work to extend and ensure U.S. imperial hegemony across the globe.
There’s no reason to implicitly believe the words of “senior U.S. officials” ever. The burden of proof is always on authority and centers of power to prove their worth to the people, and more often than not they fail to meet that burden. Prove that all this spying is done to save us from potential terrorist attacks. Prove that it’s for our security. Prove to us that it’s not just done to extend America’s global hegemony in the service of the corporate elite. Your NSA director, Mr. Keith Alexander, has already admitted lying to Congress and to the American people back in June when he claimed the NSA’s phone surveillance program prevented 54 terrorist attacks. The idea that this country is interested in combating terror is ludicrous, first of all because there’s no reason to keep it all secret if it was really for our protection.
Second of all, if combating terror was really this nation’s topmost and I mean top most priority why does our government continue to support Saudi Arabia, the most repressive regime in the Arab world and a known sponsor of terror within other Arab nations (Syria for example)? Why does our military-industrial complex support and fund Israeli oppression of the Palestinians which is known to inflame plenty of ill will towards the U.S. government? Why do we engage in drone affair which experts conclude, every time a missile drops, creates tens of new individuals who have all the reason to hate our government? The war on terror is a war that is being prosecuted for propaganda purposes to keep us afraid, to keep us xenophobic, to keep us hysteric, to keep us patriotic (in what is a clear perversion of the meaning of patriotism), to keep us fearful of the outside so that we ignore the crimes perpetrated by our government against us right here at home. Think about it. What has killed more Americans? What has caused the suffering of more Americans? Islamic terror or the litany of crimes perpetrated by the corporate sector, one of which happens to be laundering money for terrorist groups, a crime which our government has taken absolutely no interest in for reasons that are obvious to anyone remotely familiar with the hypocrisy of the corporate state? Islamic terror or the school to prison pipeline? Islamic terror or the lack of universal healthcare? Islamic terror or the worst quality healthcare system in the developed world? Islamic terror or the prison-industrial complex? Islamic terror or a high rate of child poverty? Islamic terror or the decimation of the social safety net? Islamic terror or corporate welfare? Islamic terror or “too big to fail banks”? Islamic terror or the death of private sector unions? Islamic terror or the standardization and privatization of public education? Islamic terror or PTSD that results from participating in and witnessing the horror and brutality inherent in wars of empire? Islamic terror or the horrid treatment of our veterans upon their return from these wars? If our government is and ever was taking the threat of terror seriously, why does it engage in a war on terror? Does war ever solve anything? Is war ever intended to solve the problems for which our leaders claim are the reasons it must be prosecuted? Look back at our history. The answer is no!! The same lesson we give our kids that two wrongs don’t make a right also applies here.
Ask yourself why shouldn’t Iran be afraid of our government? Our CIA already overthrew their government once back in 1953? Since then, the mentality of empire has changed little. Why shouldn’t they be afraid of a potential U.S. war of aggression against their people? Our government’s record demonstrates that it is the best when it comes to prosecuting wars of aggression, bar none. Engage in a thought experiment. Would you be willing to sacrifice yourself in order to expel occupiers from your town or city or country, in order to give attention to the desperation and suffering that arises from the exercise of unchecked power? Our government loves to condone violence, when it’s not its own violence or that of its allies. This idea that it’s only terrorism if it’s against the United States, against the Western world, against the so-called international community ( which is just a euphemism for the U.S. and the countries who support its horrible policies) is absurd. America harbors terrorists it refuses to extradite. Look up the likes of Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, both veterans of America’s terrorist war against Cuba? America lionizes Presidents who conducted terrorist wars around the world. See Ronald Reagan and JFK. What did our government do in Iraq? Was that not terror? Ask the Iraqis who suffered through that occupation whether or not it was terror? Ask the Palestinians in the occupied territories whether or not they experience terror everyday at the hands of our unconditionally supported (Really? No conditions? Well then, how in the world is peace supposed to be achieved?) client-state ally, Israel?
Most of the world (by that I mean the populations not the governments) is waiting for the American people to unequivocally denounce the crimes of its government. When are we going to wake up and realize that this civil liberty/security debate is a false one? When are we going to wake up and realize that the NSA does not work for our security? When are we going to wake up and realize that the U.S. having “strategic interest” in some part of the world, has nothing to do with our security? It has everything to do with hegemony. It has everything to do with advancing the interests of the corporate elite and the business classes, just as it did during the Cold War. It has everything to do with having control and access to resources and markets just as it did during the Cold War. It has everything to do with unchecked capitalism. It has everything to do with just plain economics. Islamic terror is the new Communism and the sooner we realize that the better.
If you ask the regular person in the street, in their homes in these countries, they won’t tell you they hate the American people. They will tell you they hate the actions of our government, plain and simple. In fact, polls have been done which make clear the sentiment throughout the Arab world. It can be summed up in one phrase “Nothing against their people, hate their government.” And then some of us somehow buy our government’s explanation that they hate our freedoms. Open your eyes and your ears. Exercise your mind’s critical faculties. Practice a thoughtful skepticism. Don’t implicitly trust any message from anyone labeled as “Official”. Educate yourself on America’s past and discern the key patterns. Understand that history is repeating itself. Things are complex but once you start asking questions that nobody else is asking, once you break out of the strictures of institutional dogma and propaganda, you begin to realize that things are not as complex as you thought they were. Read something beyond the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post. Stop watching/listening to Fox, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR, PBS. They are the mouthpieces of the power elite. They are the purveyors of official propaganda. They set the boundaries of the conversation and if you desire to step outside of those boundaries you are too radical. It is they who are too radical. They exist to dumb-down the conversation. They see black and white where the truth shows ambiguity and nuance. They report the statements of “senior U.S. officials” and never ever bother to speak truth to power. I mean how could they? Do they employ investigative journalists? Do they have national security correspondents who report anything other than the lies of “senior intelligence officials”? Do they take the time and money and effort to report on a alternative message from the one given by Washington elites?