Saturday, July 6, 2013

You're a Criminal; That's Why We Need to Spy on You

Best news I've heard in months: Venezuela will grant asylum to Edward Snowden. And President Nicolás Maduro gets in a good zinger, too: “I announce to the friendly governments of the world that we have decided to use international humanitarian rights to protect Snowden from the persecution that the world’s most powerful empire has unleashed against a young person who has told the truth.”

Get ready for the chattering classes to start vilifying Maduro as the Next Scary Thing. Let's see . . . how long before the U.S. comes up with a reason to invade Venezuela . . . ?

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues its murderous drone strikes on the other side of the world. And killing children is par for the course

I'm going to say this again: if this drone campaign were going on under Bush, every so-called liberal out there would be screaming bloody murder. But because it's going on under Obama, those same so-called liberals have turned into apologists. They are hypocrites. They should crawl back into the woodwork.

On home turf, our government is spying on us because it expects to go to war with us. This isn't hyperbole. The U.S. govt itself says so. We have documents to prove it. The U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are apparently on the same wavelength. Don't you people know you're dangerous? Don't you know you can't be trusted? As Chris Hedges and others have been warning for years, the increasing injustice, inequality, and repressive "security" measures in developed nations have created a tinderbox. Sooner or later, it will blow. And our overlords want to make sure they can press the boot harder on our necks when it does. 

Nafeez Ahmed has been writing about this in the Guardian. An excerpt:
It is therefore not surprising that the increasing privatisation of intelligence has coincided with the proliferation of domestic surveillance operations against political activists, particularly those linked to environmental and social justice protest groups.
Department of Homeland Security documents released in April prove a “systematic effort” by the agency “to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations” linked to Occupy Wall Street, according to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF).
Similarly, FBI documents confirmed “a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector” designed to produce intelligence on behalf of “the corporate security community.” A PCJF spokesperson remarked that the documents show “federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”
In particular, domestic surveillance has systematically targeted peaceful environment activists including anti-fracking activists across the US, such as the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, Rising Tide North America, the People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative, and Greenpeace.
... A University of Bath study ... based on confidential sources, found that a whole range of corporations - such as McDonald’s, Nestle, and the oil major Shell, “use covert methods to gather intelligence on activist groups, counter criticism of their strategies and practices, and evade accountability.”