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And now this

I'm gone for a week, and I come back to this. There are a million things one could say, a million words one could write, but in end, it comes down to this:

Defund the NSA. And all its unknown counterparts. Raze the buildings, salt the earth of Ft. Meade, and send the unethical masses off to the U6 12% unemployment lines.

That's the moral, ethical, constitutional, and (should be, if the fourth amendment still had any meaning) legal stance.

The practical stance is that, they, along with the rest of the bloated, fascist security state of the US Government, PRISM, and all its late lamented predecessors (ECHELON, CARNIVORE, TIA) were unable to predict or prevent September 11, 2001. Or the fall of the Berlin Wall. Or Bengazi. Or McVeigh. Or the Unabomber. Or Boston. Or anything else going back to December 7, 1941. This isn't because they weren't doing enough of this – PRISMs predecessors were in place, and powerful enough. The answer isn't to do more, but to do less.

So throw it all out. It simply doesn't work.

In every instance, this system has not made anyone safer. It invites abuses. The powers that be are not concerned with terrorism, as any terrorist plot is unlikely to affect them, and in fact will increase their powers. They are concerned about politics, and will, and have, used this very system to spy on their enemies (anti-war activists) when they should have been looking for people they were warned were planning attacks (the Boston Bombers).

They'll make noises about all the mysterious attacks they've prevented, but of course they can't tell you about a single one. Secrecy. Methods. Sources. Must be protected, you see. When what's being protected is budgets, and asses.

The reason why is that they're hugely inefficient. It's not an apparatus for preventing anything. It's an apparatus for hanging someone after the fact. It's a huge, efficient Cardinal Richelieu machine. It's not to prevent 9/11. It's to hang Julian Assange. Bradley Manning. For making sure that no one else blows the whistle on the other stuff we don't know about.

Just you wait til the whispers start about Edward Snowden. They'll start using that huge apparatus on him soon enough.

But oddly enough, the apparatus wasn't able to prevent an Edward Snowden, an honorable man, with ethics and morals.