When His Serenity, the President, announced there would be an "outside review" of the spookeries, no one much believed him. Why should they? The spooks have long resisted the very idea of scrutiny of their own activities. That isn't how it works in these United States of God Damn, not even on a bet.
The way it works is this: The spooks tell their clients what they need to know to serve the interests of the Spookeries, and the interests of the Spookeries are ever greater levels of power and money. They claim, of course, that it's "protecting us from Communism" -- or whatever the enemy and/or bugaboo might be at the moment -- but this is a pious fraud. They offer "protection" for a price to some, those with whom they are aligned politically or financially or socially.
For the rest of us? Not so much. In fact, their actions, never benign, often jeopardize the well-being of the Rabble, sometimes it seems for the sheer thrill of it.
The Spookeries exist to serve the High and the Mighty; they are run by members of their own class, and they operate on behalf of those members, much like private security firms . But also like private security, they can become the masters of their masters, and to my jaundiced eye, that's what's been happening for quite some time now.
The People, at least those classed as the Rabble, have no say in this process whatsoever. They are -- at best -- nothing but subjects or objects of scrutiny by the Spookeries, when they are considered at all, which is rarely. No, the Spooks operate in a very different world than you or I do. For the most part, they are barely conscious of our existence.
So when the President announced that there would be a "review" of the Spookeries and their operations, it was seen as something of an inside joke. When his order was issued, declaring the DNI, General James Clapper (yes, they're all "Generals") the establishing authority for this review board, it was met with hoots and catcalls from the Civil Libertarian Fringe largely because Mr. General Clapper had become notorious for lying under oath to Congress over the very existence of mass domestic data collection and surveillance.
He lied, straight out. The fact that he lied and got away with it galled, of course, but there you are. This is America Today. What are you going to do about it? Punk.
When he was commanded from the Throne to "establish" the review panel of security experts or whatever they were supposed to be, he of course expressed his full and forthright cooperation.
Meanwhile the hoots and catcalls from the fringes continued unabated. The President demurred and had his staff issue a statement contradicting his order to Clapper, a typical move of cognitive dissonance that is intended to so confuse the matter that nobody knows what's really going on -- leading to compliance and submission. The tactic works very well in most cases, but in this case...
While there is yet to be an official announcement of who will conduct this review, the leading candidates speculated to have been appointed are Michael Morell, Cass Sunstein, Richard Clarke, and Peter Swire.
Well, isn't that special?
These are Deep State insiders, not the "outsiders" advertised at all. It's yet another slap in the face of the agitators and malcontents who have been so busy this summer with their anti-NSA chants and denunciations and appeals to Orwell and whatnot.
In fact, the Slaps from On High have been coming regularly of late. Oh dear. What could be going on?
Of course, more than likely, we will never know who is actually on the panel, or even if the panel actually exists at all. That information will be classified. Mark my words.
Slap, slap, slap, slap.
Message to critics: "Fuck you. Fuck you very much."
And so it goes.
Look to Egypt or other disaster-democracies for examples of where this may all be headed.