How many times have we repeated President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex or MIC? Despite the acronym, there is nothing Mickey Mouse about the power, tenacity, and viciousness of the “Establishment” in Washington DC and its realms.
The MIC orchestrated the takedown on General Flynn through the selective leaks of highly classified information. Whether General Flynn was guilty or liable for improper conduct is not something to be determined by the shadow government that lurks inside the Establishment.
Some commentators have called the leaks appropriate, despite constituting felonies, because of the seriousness of the information. But where were those voices when Edward Snowden was warning America that our government agencies were capturing metadata that could jeopardize the entire operation of the government. It was not the Russians that blackmailed President Trump’s former national security advisor Gen Flynn it was the shadow government lurking behind every text, tweet, email, phone call and any other electrons flying across the airways.
Despite the claims of Intel and law enforcement agencies’ that all metadata collected was within the letter and spirit of the law and properly protected, we know now that the information is not just destined to surveillance operations and court proceedings, but can be used indirectly assailing individuals without Constitutional and statutory safeguards. In actuality, it can be used to “blackmail” or threaten government officials with whom the shadow government is at odds … like General Flynn. Suppose “they” did not just want him gone from the NSC but instead intended to blackmail him into a separate agenda?
Did not Senator Schumer (D-NY) specifically threaten General Flynn of grave consequences if he tangled with the “state security” agencies? Did not Senator Feinstein rail against the CIA for spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee?
For many years we have been writing about the power entrusted with the state security services and the potential for abuse. Clearly from disclosures of Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, William Binney, Private Manning and others the temptation to leak such information is oftentimes overcome by personal agendas.
While it may be too late to put the metadata genie back into the bottle, it is clearly time to revisit the necessity for so much secrecy and the need to collect it. Big Brother is no longer a fiction but a faceless bureaucracy of tens of thousands that must be corralled and controlled.
A first step would be to ban the secrecy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and its non-Article III courts. Secondly would be to provide severe prison sentences for leakers who are not designated as “whistleblowers” by an independent tribunal composed of citizens and no government employees. Thirdly, limit the scope of data collection, both routine and targeted, to matters pertaining to external national security threats. Fourth, Article III courts based on probable cause MUST handle any internal threats. Fifth, ban National Security Letters (NSL). Sixth, prohibit the sharing of tax and banking information between state and federal agencies without a pending, active, criminal case and subpoenas based on probable cause. Seventh, eliminate the practice of demanding email and other electronic media providers from producing records without subpoenas or notice to the consumer.
There are plenty of smart people that know how all this metadata is collected and analyzed that can develop much more effective methods for limiting and controlling the government’s insatiable desire to spy on us. But we must have a public dialogue about the subject as the current practices run counter to our governing document.
Another issue that is looming on the horizon is the cashless society. While many find the idea of a cashless economy quite appealing as a means of controlling illegal drugs, money laundering, and black marketeering, it is the electronic trail that would give Big Brother the inside track to every financial move. It’s bad enough Google® tracks your web surfing and offers up your musings for weeks after, but for the government to have capabilities would truly be the beginning of the end of a democratic society of, by, and for the people.
So, back to General Flynn and the shadow government, all of these things threaten the very foundation of our Constitutional society. Either we come to grips with controlling the electronic melodies of our lives or we will be facing a society that is run by the holders of the metadata and their agendas.
So to those who say you have nothing to hide believe the young peeps, an all-knowing government is a dangerous threat to our freedom.