The drip feed of revelations about spying by NSA, related agencies and international subsidiaries like GCHQ, is taking on a familiar pattern. Take some long-held suspicion about what they might be up to, and go through the following steps
1. “You’re being paranoid. That can never happen, thanks to our marvellous checks and balances”
2. “Well, actually it does happen, but hardly ever, so there’s no need to worry about it”
3. “OK, it happens all the time, but you shouldn’t be worried unless you have something to hide”
“No one would spy on a girlfriend because we have the proper process in place.” “Well it has happened but not often.”
Stages one and two completed. I wonder when the third stage will hit?
And they only found these incidents when people self -reported them, not through any process of the system. Yet many on both side yell, “Remain calm. All is well.”
This also indicates that the process is actually not under the control of politicians. They know how bad this all looks and would do almost anything to keep it from happening. Feinstein’s comments won’t stop it. Obama’s committee won’t. Clapper’s lies won’t.
A change in politicians won’t stop it. Human nature is not easily constrained.
Remember the scandal from accessing the passport records of politicians. This is rapidly becoming worse. We have progressed from government spying on politicians to individuals spying on their friends or enemies.
The fact that it does keep happening pretty much demonstrates that there are no checks or balances that will stop this.
Makes one wonder all anew about the ability of these contractors to examine almost everything?
Repeal the AUMF. Let the Patriot Act lapse. Fix FISA.