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I remember being surprised by how far in the tank tech firms were for Obama during the 2012 election. After all, there was a credible (if not necessarily likable) turnaround guru running under brand R. And if ever anything needed turning around, America in 2012 was the poster child.
The 2008 election “in the tank” syndrome I could somewhat understand; the media hype might easily deceive younger people, who haven’t yet learned what accomplished propagandists the mainline media in America are. Brand R that year ran an old warhorse who oftentimes had trouble figuring out which goal post to run for during Senate votes.
This article in the Guardian will erase any doubts you have about why tech “loved” Obama in 2012.
This is what happens with incrementalism and compromise. The big tech firms were already handing over user data during the reign of Bush II, but not on the scale that NSA wanted. And even the blanket, secret warrants issued by the FISA court were burdensome for the wartime agency turned domestic big brother and big sister.
NSA does not have a legal leg to stand on for its domestic espionage machine. NSA knows it, the government knows it, and the tech firms should have known it. The big tech firms could easily have banded together (“telephone call, Steve Jobs for Bill Gates,” and so on). Then the united front to the Department of Justice: “You are asking us to violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. That request is in itself a violation of your oath of office. If you persist, we will use our combined legal resources to see that you are removed from office. Furthermore, we will immediately begin publicizing your request to our users, a right guaranteed to us and them by the First Amendment. We will of course continue to comply with lawfully obtained federal court warrants (FISA excluded) and provide individual data when so ordered. We refuse to violate the United States Constitution.”
The world of incrementalism has been used to entangle and snare many spies. “I’m a salesman. Could you just get me an internal phone book so I can call the right people?”
A month or so down the line: “No, I really can’t give you a copy of that report. It’s classified.”
“That’s a shame. You already gave me the telephone directory, which is classified, too. I suppose I could inform your superior …”
And that’s how it went for the tech firms under Obama and the Chicago mob.
These firms are now going to pay the price. Congress cannot immunize any individual or company for violating a citizen’s constitutional rights. Neither Congress, the courts, nor the president has that authority. It’s a done deal: The damages are going to bankrupt many of them. And rightly so.
You don’t think this affects you? James Clapper has on several occasions reiterated that intelligence and law enforcement work closely together. So the door to blackmail has already been opened, and the horse is out of the barn. The East German Stasi had the same views about intelligence and law enforcement working together. And how did that approach work out for the Jews under the Nazis?
Let me be blunt: You conservatives who don’t think this affects you need to pull your head out. And yes, I think I have the credentials to make that statement. Read my archives. This apparatus is not here to “keep us safe.” It is here to keep us in line, and to punish us with federal inquisitions if we get out of line.
This is not America.