Today’s topic was brought to the LBC by Maria. Please check out hers and the other bloggers of the LBC by using the active links on the right side of the page.
Ummm … after you read my take. Of course.
A free society and covert activity: they contradict one another by their very natures and America is having a dialog regarding it right now.
How can you stop hostile forces and plots from attacking innocent people and simultaneously maintain personal freedom? Well, I think part of the answer is that freedom in a free society is limited regardless of the fantasies some believers like to bring to the table. I am not free to attack another citizen without consequence, nor am I free to say something about another that causes them danger or harm in many situations. At the same time, my government is not given free license to search my house without cause or confiscate my property without similar cause as approved by the courts.
Our Constitution and court system is our national effort to resolve these freedoms and it was written in the midst of many freedoms denied – often directly and specifically by the men who wrote it – and the future will continually evolve understandings of inappropriately denied freedoms. It is an imperfect document developed by imperfect people or there would be no amendments necessary. Ever. But, imperfect though it is, it is really pretty damn good!
I put these statements in the public domain as soon as I post this blog entry. It would be naïve of me to think that individuals would have the freedom, unlimited, to read it from anywhere at any time and that my government would not. And not just my government, but the governments of both allies and enemies. On top of that, it is certain that they will not tell me that they have looked at or examined or archived it. I have no doubt that J. Edgar Hoover and his crew created a dossier on me and my friends during the late 60’s and early 70’s. I’m sure those dossiers would have been juicier if they could have hovered small drones recording information through the window at some of our parties!
Contrary to some of my fellow citizens and my younger self, I don’t see this as particularly nefarious (although that is subject to change as regimes come into power and potential abuses increase). I don’t feel the need to arm myself to keep the government from taking over my home or my life. Neither does it particularly bother me that we have been spying on our friends. I expect and hope that they are still spying on us like they always have and are just putting out faux outrage to mollify their constituencies.
To be totally honest, at this stage of human development, I think that nations with good spy networks letting them know what is going on with one another more fully mutually guarantee that they are not surprised by or misgauging a situation leading to harm.
I am less blasé about dirty tricks and at no point do I forfeit my right of protest over activities I see crossing the line and simply invading privacy. By personal education, votes, protests and discussions with my fellow citizens, I try to resist violations.
How do you see it, oh national and international audience?