Comments on: Collateral damage of our surveillance state http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: ironiclad http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-68764 Mon, 10 Dec 2012 17:33:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-68764 If you’ve really watched Petraeus over the years, nothing about this scandal is surreal. This arrogant, self-absorbed man was bound to slip up. He did it big time and with the media he so greedily cultivated watching him. He should never be allowed to return to public life for the way he misused taxpayer funds, if nothing else.

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By: Andvari http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-67209 Wed, 21 Nov 2012 02:56:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-67209 musings3,
There have been more than a dozen espionage agents caught and prosecuted in the U.S. since 1985. And I’m just talking about U.S. citizens, not foreign nationals: Ames, Walker, Howard, Pelton, Pollard, etc. are either dead or serving time still. Pollard deserved what he got, and it doesn’t matter who he spied for, in this case Israel.

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By: musings3 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66968 Sun, 18 Nov 2012 01:46:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66968 Did we punish Benedict Arnold? I know we hanged Major Andre, but he wasn’t an American. One of his captors was my multi-great granduncle, Isaac Van Wert. I think Arnold slithered off quite easily and found a place for himself in London eventually, where he died.

So traitors can get away with a lot if they ally with 1) distant kinfolk or 2)longtime allies and friends. One notable exception is Jonathan Pollard, and for the reason that the people he sold out to, sold his information farther down the river, to fatal results for a fair number of our spies in the Soviet Union. He was said to have stolen the “crown jewels” of American intelligence. Given our corrupt Establishment in the present day, with decadent use of government perks and revolving door contractor work, I could imagine Jonathan Pollard would only get a slap on the wrist and be popular on the talk show circuit. Timing is everything.

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By: Samrch http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66952 Sat, 17 Nov 2012 01:13:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66952 High level security holders must live the type of life that does open them to blackmail.

Which open the question as far sax blackmail: Why are not such officials and their wife required to pledge to have sex with each other 3 times a day or face jail or have the wife give the official that she will not try to hurt him in any way particularly legally if he has sex with others.

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By: usagadfly http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66946 Fri, 16 Nov 2012 20:42:12 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66946 The real travesty here is the convenient pretense that we in the USA live under a “Constitutional” Government. The will of the Government is the “Constitution”, nothing more or less. It looks a lot like the same one Genghis Khan ruled by. We have not punished a high ranking betrayer of the People (who supposedly rule) since Benedict Arnold.

What we need is a real Constitution, with real Rights that cannot be suspended, taken away under any circumstances. And a provision to recover the pay and benefits from Federal officials that commit felonies, especially ones that harm a weak person. Such recoveries should emphatically not require any kind of approval whatever from the miscreant’s branch of Government, and half of the recovery should be paid to any citizen who files for the recovery.

But this is fantasy. We will have the same law in the future that we have today. The strong prey upon the weak with impunity.

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By: UScitizentoo http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66945 Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:45:26 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66945 You speak like there is a normal USA lying in wait just underneath the crippled laws. You, me and the dog laying on the floor sleeping have been sold into slavery by corporations, the vested interest of the .0001% and a government crippled by capitalism run amok. They don’t care about the USA citizen or the constitution. The constitution means nothing in our eat or be eaten USA. Free trade agreements with communist china, Exxon controlling the energy policy of the country, and global warming about to wipe us clean off the face of the planet because Rupert Murdoch thinks it’s a commie scheme. Find your own solution, because no one is going to give it to you.

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By: streetview http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66941 Fri, 16 Nov 2012 15:39:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66941 Julian, thank you very much for your critically important contribution. I agree that by far the most unsettling piece of information emerging from this whole sordid affair is that we now know that any lowly FBI agent with a bare chest can kick off an ‘inquiry’ capable of taking down generals and the head of the CIA at will.

Said agent can even garner ‘whistle-blower’ status from D.C. Republicans like Eric Cantor, should he choose to promote partisan political turmoil by cluing in party politicians via back channels, should he get impatient with his higher-ups. This should be standard fare only in a banana republic, not in a developed democracy!

As you have detailed, this means we are the proud owners of a national security apparatus which is ready, willing, and able, at the drop of a hat, at their personal discretion, yes, even for the venal motive of a lowly, bare-chested FBI field agent wishing to curry favor with an attractive female friend, to totally and irreversibly violate the privacy of any and every citizen of the United States.

This is textbook total surveillance state. (I urge readers to view the film ‘The Lives of Others’ to appreciate how personal motives and vendettas of security agents can play out for average citizens, when they are magnified by the ability to wield a secret police apparatus into play, as happened here.)

It has been our good fortune that the essential piece for a police state, the lack of power of the secret police apparatus to arrest and indefinitely jail citizens without issuing formal charges, i.e., without a trial or the right to defend oneself, has been missing. From our founding as a nation in 1776, this has always been a central tenet of our democracy. But amazingly, this summer and fall, Congress and Pres. Obama gave Homeland Security and our military that power, too (written into the National Defense Authorization Act – NDAA).

Whenever we happen to elect a politician willing to use these powers (Pres. Obama claimed at the signing ceremony he personally will not), and should our courts allow this violation of our Constitution, nothing will stand between us and a total surveillance and generic, run-of-the-mill, police state.

If the Petraeus affair demonstrates anything, it demonstrates that it’s high time to start reining in these extremely dangerous threats to our liberty. In a security force compelled by laws to place value on the freedom of citizens, the FBI agent in question, and the FBI itself, would most certainly never have had the power to initiate and pursue this sordid cyber-dragnet, which so far has netted just one visible achievement – the drumming out of office of the chief of the FBI’s rival, the CIA.

This most certainly should be a warning for all of us – if the FBI can get generals, and the head of the CIA, they can get anyone, and none of us are the least bit safe.

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By: streetview http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66939 Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:41:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66939 Julian, thank you very much for your critically important contribution. I agree that by far the most unsettling piece of information emerging from this whole sordid affair is that we now know that any lowly FBI agent with a bare chest can kick off an ‘inquiry’ capable of taking down generals and the head of the CIA at will.

Said agent can even garner ‘whistle-blower’ status from D.C. Republicans like Eric Cantor, should he choose to promote partisan political turmoil by cluing in party politicians via back channels, should he get impatient with his higher-ups. This should be standard fare only in a banana republic, not in a developed democracy!

As you have detailed, this means we are the proud owners of a national security apparatus which is ready, willing, and able, at the drop of a hat, at their personal discretion, yes, even for the venal motive of a lowly, bare-chested FBI field agent wishing to curry favor with an attractive female friend, to totally and irreversibly violate the privacy of any and every citizen of the United States.

This is textbook total surveillance state. (I urge readers to view the film ‘The Lives of Others’ to appreciate how personal motives and vendettas of security agents can play out for average citizens, when they are magnified by the ability to wield a secret police apparatus into play, as happened here.)

It has been our good fortune that the essential piece for a police state, the lack of power of the secret police apparatus to arrest and indefinitely jail citizens without issuing formal charges, i.e., without a trial or the right to defend oneself, has been missing. From our founding as a nation in 1776, this has always been a central tenet of our democracy. But amazingly, this summer and fall, Congress and Pres. Obama gave Homeland Security and our military that power, too (written into the National Defense Authorization Act – NDAA).

Whenever we happen to elect a politician willing to use these powers (Pres. Obama claimed at the signing ceremony he personally will not), and should our courts allow this violation of our Constitution, nothing will stand between us and a total surveillance and generic, run-of-the-mill, police state.

If the Petraeus affair demonstrates anything, it demonstrates that it’s high time to start reining in these extremely dangerous threats to our liberty. In a security force compelled by laws to place value on the freedom of citizens, the FBI agent in question, and the FBI itself, would most certainly never have had the power to initiate and pursue this sordid cyber-dragnet, which so far has netted just one visible achievement – the drumming out of office of the chief of the FBI’s rival, the CIA.

This most certainly should be a warning for all of us – if the FBI can get generals, and the head of the CIA, they can get anyone, and none of us are the least bit safe.

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By: mfw13 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66934 Fri, 16 Nov 2012 01:48:26 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66934 Well, since nobody seems to complain or care, nobody in office has any incentive to do something about it. I don’t think “privacy” was discussed a single time during the presidential campaign. American’s simply don’t care enough to actually do anything about it.

There’s a reason why I haven’t signed up for Facebook, keep my cellphone off unless I need to make an outgoing call, and rarely shop online.

It’s because I value my privacy.

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By: possibilianP http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/15/collatoral-damage-of-our-surveillance-state/#comment-66921 Thu, 15 Nov 2012 22:18:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15558#comment-66921 The ability to surveil is very concerning, but as this case grows, we can see the problems it has revealed. There is the Orwellian surveillance danger, but there are also some benefits in discovering some very dysfunctional behavior. Jill Kelley seems to be a very real concern going by the 911 call that has been produced where she claimed to have diplomatic immunity when she did not. She seems to be someone we wouldn’t want having access to the areas she mingles with regularly.

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