Monday, December 30, 2013

Mark Ames Explains It All For You

"Yeah, but... what do we do about it?"

One of the most often heard complaints about Greenwald's longstanding rage against government -- almost never corporate -- abuses of power is his determined failure to provide any course of action or recommendations for effective remedy.

Which is not to say he hasn't provided any outlets for frustration, far from it. He's been instrumental in setting up or participating in all sorts of supposed political action outfits, and is always encouraging donations to them as a means of Being Effective Against The Man, but exactly what they accomplish is subject to dispute. Certainly the very expensive efforts engaged in to bring down Blanche Lincoln and Joe Lieberman didn't accomplish what was being touted by a long shot. For the most part, Greenwald simply demurred when asked what he thought should be or could be done about all the many things he was OUTRAGED!!!!!™ about.

Mark Ames now at has few qualms about either raging at The Man or suggesting remedies for the many OUTRAGES!!!!!™ We, the People endure at the whims of Our Betters.

In his latest, he runs through some of the less-known history of the NSA and previous revelations about its, erm... overreach.

Actually, I knew a bit of it, but he goes into much more detail than I was aware of previously. It's not so much surprising as it is confirmational and disheartening.

These agencies are rotten to the core, steeped in their own Original Sin and so far as can be determined, they cannot be reformed.

The Report I read in the days leading up to Christmas makes many, many recommendations about how to reform the NSA and other agencies that have overreached but it never suggests that the powers which have been assumed by them should be abolished. Instead, the recommendations are to transfer them to more appropriate locations within the surveillance state apparatus or outside it to a private entity.

This, as Ames points out, has been done before, only to later discover that the Hydra has regrown its heads and is more powerful and invasive than ever.

So, what to do about it?

Unfortunately, this time Ames has no solution -- nor much snark about it, either.

He's as stumped as anyone else.

So what happened to the abolitionists?

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