Thursday, August 8, 2013

On the Question of Exemptions

As the transformation of the nation accelerates, the question of who should be exempt from the strictures of the New Society comes more and more to the fore.

In discussions about the Surveillance/Police State that's been "exposed" this summer -- like sharks in the water and missing white women (sometimes men and boys) -- I've pointed out that the real issue is exemptions, whether they be for the press and media (the original demand, after all, when the AP Thing broke) or for the High and Mighty (such as our representatives in Congress Assembled), or for the idle rich or the superintendents of our digital lives.

At no point, at all, has it been suggested that We, the Rabble be protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Certainly not. Nor has it ever been suggested that the private sector be barred from collecting and storing the kind of information about us that the Nefarious Government does, nor have there been any suggestions that the private sector should be barred from trading and selling the information it collects with the government or anyone else it chooses to. Free Market solutions and all.

In other words, We, the Rabble will not be relieved of constant surveillance and police state tactics; fuggetaboutit.

But certain sectors of the population will be relieved to know that the exemptions they seek are on the way or already in place. Yay! Victory!

The shark is slain, the missing white woman, girl, man or boy has been found!

God's in his heaven, all's right with the world, who could ask for anything more.

To say we are being played is an understatement.

The "legitimate" press and media mostly got its exemptions negotiated into place by the time the NSA story was ready to go. The "bastard" press and media (such as yours truly as a nearly daily blogger) and those not granted "legitimacy" based on whom they serve are shit out of luck, too bad so sad.

In this regard, it may be instructive to note once again that Greenwald has never faced any sort of untoward scrutiny let alone oppression/repression despite the fact that he relished eye-poking the high and the mighty -- well some of them, some of the time. You would think that if this surveillance/police state he rails about (among other things he rails about) was all the horror he makes it out to be [note: it is quite the horror, but not the way he makes it out to be] it would have crushed him like a bug long ago, or it would have taken care of him like Hastings if some kind of "statement" was wanted or needed about him and his revelations.

No such thing has happened, it's not even been hinted at by the always voluminously verbal Greenwald. Never. The closest he ever came to even suggesting that he was subject to the same sort of underhanded business that he wants everyone else to believe they're being subjected to was when he reported (was it on Twitter?) that his partner in Rio said their dwelling had been burgled and a laptop had been stolen. The only thing of value that had been stolen in the burglary. Make of it what you will.

That's it.

When I pointed out years ago that he was granted some kind of free passage despite his constant jabbing at the great and mighty, it was pointed out to me by a member of his commentariat that he is always careful never to jab at the true sources of power, and as long as he doesn't, he'll be fine. Sure seems to be that way, doesn't it?

(I don't know what happened in the Hastings case, but it doesn't look like an "accident" to me. I'm sure it's barely possible that it might have been completely accidental, but there is no evidence it is so. Neither is there evidence that it wasn't accidental. We don't know. And no one who might know is telling squat. Yes, I know there's a reporter in San Diego who's been trying to dog the story all summer, but she's getting stonewalled just like everybody else who's been trying to look into it. Contrast this complete level of official stonewalling and media obliviousness in the case of Hastings' mysterious and fiery demise with the nearly daily revelations about domestic and international surveillance, and one cannot help but think there is a "message" here.)

Don't accept what you are being told as if it were the truth or what matters.

But going back to the original point, note that the most recent revelation -- that NSA and other surveillance data was being used to build cases against drug traffickers, white slavers and so on -- that we were supposed to get all up in arms about ("This is illegal1!!!") fell kind of flat, not because it wasn't important, but because most Americans are so heavily propagandized to believe in the Goodness of the Wars against Crime and Drugs and White Slavery and so forth, they will naturally go along with the official use of practically any tool to combat these Existential Threats to All Mankind. Of course they will. If the surveillance apparat is being used for that purpose, most Americans will approve gladly. One doesn't want criminals to be exempt. Good heavens no!

And so it will go.

As Naomi Wolf pointed out early on, what seems to be happening is getting the Rabble informed and up to speed about the extent of the surveillance some of them had only surmised was going on; knowledge about it is in and of itself a control mechanism used by security states against restive populations. Hello.

What I found interesting was that she was furiously denounced for pointing out the obvious.

What I find interesting is that so many of those who are so apparently up in arms about the surveillance/police state have no intention of actually doing anything about it -- except complain loudly in the majority of cases, and attempt to secure an exemption for themselves in a few cases. Perhaps if they complain loudly enough, they'll get their exemption, too.

Doing anything? Who said anything about Doing Anything about it? Certainly not Greenwald or Snowden.


Congress, it's important to note, took no action prior to adjourning for the rest of August. They won't return to session before September. They are supposed to be in their districts hearing from constituents, but the only ones they tend to listen to are the ones who buy them. They probably want exemptions, and so when the critters get back into session, expect to see plenty of action directing the spooks to lay off certain segments of the population -- and to redouble surveillance of the rest.

That's what I expect.

By then, Greenwald, et al, will have moved on to something else.

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