The Surveillance State is the Real Scandal

posted by Michael Yaffee -

Even though some media outlets are trying to tell people it’s not a scandal, I think there is no doubt that the fact former National Security Adviser Susan Rice unmasked the names of Trump officials is a very big deal, and if she has to testify to Congress on the matter no one will be able to ignore the story. All of this being said, there is a part of me that believes there is actually a much bigger scandal here.

While she would not admit that she did the unmasking for political purposes, she DID admit that unmasking happens and can happen quite a bit apparently. Is this not concerning to anyone else? I thought the country was outraged when Snowden revealed how much surveillance was going on, but now it seems like no one cares. Everything thinks this is just business as usual. It also seems way too easy to “unmask” American citizens in all this spying. All they have to do is scream “national security” and they can find out what they want. This is the real scandal.

Rand Paul is really the only one in Congress who has been sounding the alarm on this. He has been making the rounds on the news channels saying he is very concerned about all this spying and that the government should have a warrant before unmasking these names during surveillance. I could not agree more! Without that protection the government has way too much power, and even if they are not abusing it now, the infrastructure is in place to easily abuse it in the future.

One thing Rand Paul said that caught my attention is not only how much unmasking they do of American citizens in all this spying, but how much spying is done in the first place. Even if it is not focused on Americans, there is still way too much surveillance of the rest of the world. We monitor phone calls of people in foreign countries on a constant basis, even those of our closest allies like Germany. Is this really what we should be doing? That is still giving the American government a whole lot of power.

Former Democrat Congressman Dennis Kucinich came out after Trump’s tweets on Obama spying and said that Trump might actually have a point. Kucinich said that HIS phone calls with foreign leaders were surveilled, and he didn’t find out until years later. The only reason he found out at all is because a newspaper outlet got access to the recordings and showed him. This is coming from someone who admits he is not a fan of Trump.  Is no one else concerned about the ramifications of this? This could be used for blackmail. This could be easily leaked to the media. This could also make foreign diplomats question whether they would want to even have phone calls with people in our government.

The real scandal here is how much our government and intelligence agencies are obsessed with spying on people’s phone calls, here and throughout the world. When you have a giant “deep state” that is constantly growing it’s surveillance apparatus, and you make it way too easy to have access to the private information of people, is it really that much of a stretch that people in the government will use it for political purposes? If it’s not being done now it will be done in the future.  

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