The latest development on the NSA is that a number of people have recently written about yet another hideous NSA overreach – its out-Hoovering Hoover’s FBI in the gathering of embarrassing material on the peccadilloes (especially sexual) of Americans so that they might be blackmailed into toeing the NSA line. Here’s a recent paragraph from Some Assembly Required with some juicy links:
Bill Of Particulars: The NSA spies on politicians, generals, judges, lawyers, citizens and nearly everyone else. For example, they began collecting information on Barak Obama when he first ran for public office and continued to do so through his run for the Presidency. And there is no reason to suspect they have stopped. It is also naïve to believe that this is merely harmless collection, that those who hold the information do not use it for their benefit. And the NSA passes data on American citizens, including members of Congress to Israel. It seems likely that the NSA is blackmailing its putative Washington overseers. There is no record in history when such surveillance was not used to control the people, but there is always a first time.
To that i’ll stress that the writer of that blog is being excruciatingly ironic when he says there might be a first time when a government failed to use such intelligence to control the population. Maybe when the NSA freezes over.
Meanwhile, another hot new NSA issue was sparked by the recent flap over Verizon spying on Germany that led to their ouster of our CIA chief there. Seems that more and more Germans are calling on their government to grant asylum to Edward Snowden, he being clearly a closer friend of Germany than the US government. There was talk of this back at the beginning of the year when Snowden revealed that we’d been tapping Angela Merkel’s private cell phone, but l’affaire Verizon may be tipping the scale.
Of course, i’d offer Snowden asylum in my San Francisco flat, but even though the citizens here would warmly welcome him there’d be a couple of problems. First, getting him here would be impossible because there are no nonstop flights between SFO and Moscow and he’d be hauled outta the plane during its stop. And if there were nonstop flights, a heavily armed delegation would be waiting for him upon his arrival at SFO. And even if he could be teleported here, my flat offers no security, so his expected stay would be measured in minutes before the doors were smashed in. So no, he’d be better off in Germany, to which he could be whisked from Moscow in a German military plane and be housed in accommodations protected by German law…and guns.
Here’s an NSA surveillance device cunningly disguised as a lizard at Saratoga Springs last weekend. I’m guessing a Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis). Those beady little eyes can see a lot.