I am not old enough to remember a time when Washington DC wasn’t all smoke and mirrors for the elite to create the illusion of freedom. A great example of this is the current effort by the Obama Administration seeking legal immunity for the major telecommunication companies for complying with the NSA’s bulk metadata collection programs. Why is this typical Washington BS? Because the telcomms already have immunity because they were following the law when they complied with FISA court requests. The White House feels the need to request immunity for telcomms because of the multiple NSA reforms that are currently making their way through Congress. But if the Bush Administration wasn’t prosecuted, Gitmo is still open, and no one from Wall Street went to jail after 2008; is formal immunity really needed from Verizon, Comcast, and the gang?
So a sarcastic blog paragraph, is that it? NO. The real story here is in the earmarks. Both supporters and defenders of the NSA are trying to attach hidden bills, add ons, amendments, etc to the various bills to advance their agenda through the back doors of democracy.
This is a problem not just because of how shady earmarks are in principle, but the fact that both sides are doing it threatens to undo any and all NSA reform. Both sides are saying all the right things but are doing very different things when the doors are closed and the cameras are off, what else is new? So keep an eye and an ear on the legislation that eventually makes it to a vote that reforms and repeals the NSA’s various Big Brother programs. Will they do nothing? Go too far? Not far enough? One will have to go beyond the headline and seek out whether there are earmarks and if so what they entail to know the validity and likely the fate of any changes to the NSA’s ability quest to destroy private lives as we know it.