Add to the long list of people who need to shut the fuck up: Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence in the US. God knows what power that title actually gives him in what spook agency but his principal role seems to be letting the American people know they’re utterly fucked.
You know that freedom and liberty idea that so many Americans are so fond of? I think it’s time to face facts and file that under “not so much”. Most rational people expect their government to have all sorts of spy operations in place. Most of us manage to sleep at night by convincing ourselves it’s for our protection and as we’re clearly not criminals or terrorists, nobody’s spying on us.
That tissue-thin layer of self-delusion tends to get torn apart pretty thoroughly when a government official actually comes out and says “Oh yeah, we’re totally spying on everyone. All the time.”
In a speech he gave in October, Kerr said Americans shouldn’t be fighting to protect their anonymity – they should be “changing their definition of privacy“. You see, in this brave new world, privacy doesn’t actually mean privacy. It means accepting the fact that the government is going to have full access to every tiny detail of your life any time they want. It means being innocent and law abiding doesn’t mean “not under surveillance”. But we should all take a deep breath and relax because you can trust the government not to do the wrong thing.
It isn’t as if it’s easy to find examples of the Bush administration unjustly smearing their opponents (even those within their own party). Incidentally, a Google search for “Bush administration smear opponent” returns 579,000 results. Nothing to worry about there.
In the good old days of the Cold War and the McCarthy era, a sizable proportion of people being spied on actually belonged to the Communist Party (or at least went to meetings hoping to score with those hot politically active chicks). Not any more. Ever had a phone call with someone outside the USA? That’s all they need to spy on you now.
Actually, I should correct that last alarmist statement. They won’t spy on you for a call where the other party is outside the US. They’ll spy on you if they have a reasonable suspicion that one end of the conversation is outside the US. And of course we’re talking about eminently reasonable people here. What could possibly go wrong with allowing that sort of power without the usual checks and balances?
And this Kerr character is either frighteningly stupid or simply enjoys insulting the intelligence of everyone else. One of his primary justifications for unlimited government intrusion into innocent people’s lives is the way some people use social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace. Yes, this is what passes for logic with these twisted freaks. Some people give out personal information online and so everyone should give up all rights to privacy.
I keep wanting to avoid hyperbole and gratuitous references to rape but that’s what keeps popping into my head. This sounds like the classic drunken moron’s defence for date rape. “Hey, the bitch let me buy her dinner and all those drinks. Then she came back to my place. She knew what was coming next, you can’t expect me to listen when she says ‘NO’ after all that.”
But this prick really got me angry when he said “Protecting anonymity isn’t a fight that can be won… (stop struggling, bitch!)… Our job now is to engage in a productive debate.” Oh yeah, that old chestnut. Don’t get angry. Just because the government is violently raping your basic rights and expecting you to say “thank you” afterwards. Whatever you do, don’t get angry. Be reasonable.
Do you know why Mr Angry exists? Because it’s impossible for Mr Angry to not exist in today’s world. Every piece of shit in every country in the world who wants to screw over other people is always quick to say anger is wrong. You need to be reasonable. You need to be productive when you respond. You know what?
FUCK THAT SHIT!
Here’s the big secret they want to keep from you: It’s OK to be angry. In fact, fuck that too. It isn’t OK. It’s the appropriate response. It’s fucking required. I’m more than reasonable when somebody presents a reasonable proposal. When they’re unreasonable I’ll resist. And when they want to lie, cheat, steal and destroy the basic rights of innocent people and tell me I’m not allowed to be angry in response?
I. Get. Fucking. FURIOUS!