but not indifferent,
I think i have done a fairly decent job on the NSA story as far as not letting hero worship or scapegoating of Snowden and Greenwald to become the focus of what I’m concerned about in the story. I also think I’ve done a pretty decent job of pointing out the various technical aspects of the story with links to people that have a history of involvement with the technology under discussion, BT in particular, who has written a couple of posts without jargon so that the average internet user can understand the lengths and limits of that technology. I don’t recall anyone else pointing out what damage a leak can do to intelligence gathering from an intelligence agency report previous to both Manning and Snowden. Because I wanted to know those things, I did.
I really don’t have a lot of illusions about the Constitution either. The people may hold it to be a sacred document, but as we have seen with the NRA, when it is convenient to do so, as we have also seen with the Supreme Court, Congress and the Presidency. If it were all it was cracked up to be there would be armed assertives of the second amendment just as assertive of the fourth and fifth. In short we love our nation, without any real clear definition of just what this thing we call America is, especially if we base that love on the Constitution.
I think some of that comes into play with Greenwald, the ACLU, and any other individual or group that wishes to stake its’ position on the Constitution. We love America because we happen to have been born here. Nothing in our history suggest anything like a fealty to the Constitution, from Adams on down to Obama. It is however a pathway, a marker in the woods that allows us to wander, but not too far. But we aren’t debating Constitutional issues, we are debating likes and dislikes with the strawman of the Constitution as the bludgeon.
We have yet to accept the fact that the Declaration of Independence is a document of the Enlightenment, and the Constitution is the document of the counter revolution. Without the Bill of Rights it would have failed to have been ratified, but individual rights weren’t intrinsic to the debate of the Continental Congress. The Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights remain the cornerstone of perception for the common man, yet the body of the Constitution is the cornerstone of the political elite with which they chip away at the liberties and freedoms of the common man espoused in the Declaration and enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
I can recall the American Bi-Centennial hoopla in 1976, and the near silence of the Constitutional bi-centennial in 1989, as many of you can. The Fourth of July belongs to all of the people, the Constitution to the established power. The Bill of Rights are a reminder to that power that it is not absolute, and so long as free speech exists in America, it is a danger to main body of the document, and hence to the government of the elite.
So the debate as I see it is not whether the NSA and various other domestic spying programs are necessary to defend the United States, undoubtedly our nation must play the game as do ll other nations. The debate is whom shall defend the nation from our own government? Those who hold the reins of power, or those who hold liberty and the rights of man in their hearts?
External threats call one and all to her defense, since that which is most sacred to either is under threat. This debate is about whether the threat from external forces is more dangerous to the well being of the people of the United States, or are the internal forces which deem it necessary to abrogate the Constitutional guarantees of the Bill of Rights to protect themselves and us from those external forces.
The truth however is that if either the external or internal forces should prevail, the outcome for the common people will be a distinction without a difference. Private Manning and Mr. Snowden have decide to live without the chains of indifference, and we must decide if they have concluded correctly in doing so. This debate is not about them, it is about us.