We’ve come a long way from the US government’s World War II admonition,
"Loose lips sink ships." In those days, citizens were warned not to
talk about their sons' or husbands’ troop positions or experiences, lest
the information reach an enemy among us. And families compacted in a knot of restraint,
though news of tragic losses burst through at times, like hysterical tears from
I remember as a boy of 5 or 6 staring at my 20-year-old, part-time babysitter.
She had lost her boyfriend in WW II that day. Telegram in hand, she was inconsolable,
even as family and friends poured in, trying to quiet her with love. I stood
at a distance, as if watching through a glass darkly, speechless, amazed by
Now it seems Americans have become the enemy themselves. And the self-painted
patriots at the NSA and the White House are spying on us in vast numbers, in
fact aided and abetted by telephone companies Verizon, AT&T and BellSouth.
Only Qwest refuses to participate, doubting the program’s legality. The
big three even point to the microscopic type in our phone contracts that they
say give them the right to feed the listening frenzy. And now, I, as a grown
man, feel equally amazed.
On May 12, the Washington Post told us in “Data on Phone calls
Monitored” by Barton Gellman and Arshad Mohammed, “The ‘call
detail records’ enable U.S. intelligence agencies to track who calls whom,
and when, but do not include the contents of conversations, the sources said,
speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss
the program. The companies cooperating with the National Security Agency dominate
the U.S. telecommunications market and connect hundreds of billions of telephone
calls each year. Intelligence analysts are seeking to mine their records to
expose hidden connections and details of social networks, hoping to find signs
of terrorist plots in the vast sea of innocent contacts.”
This could include anyone for any reason, even a purely random or coincidental
connection with the wrong person. Thus, it’s a flawed program to begin
with. See the May 16 New York Times’ N.S.A.’s
Math Problem by Op-Ed Contributor Jonathan David Farley.
He points out, “Looked at this way, President Bush is only a few steps
away from Osama bin Laden (in the 1970s he ran a company partly financed by
the American representative for one of the Qaeda leader's brothers). And terrorist
hermits like the Unabomber are connected to only a very few people. So much
for finding the guilty by association.
Also, According to the Washington Post article, the big three have
“connected nearly 500 billion calls in 2005 and nearly 2 trillion calls
since late 2001.” That’s quite a fishing expedition, and all of
it up for “monitoring, surveillance.” Call it what you will, it’s
The government will be further aided and abetted by the new candidate for CIA
Chief, General Michael V. Hayden, who was involved in intelligence controversies
in the 9/11 attacks, and who delivered false reporting on Iraqi weapons, and
offered up deceptive domestic surveillance without warrants, violating the Federal
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in his role at the National Security Agency.
And whose security would that be now? Certainly not ours. With friends like
that, who needs enemies?
And somehow when a 91-IQ president (half of his predecessor’s) tells
us to believe, “We’re not mining or trolling through the personal
lives of millions of innocent citizens . . . Our efforts are focused on links
to Al Qaeda and their known affiliates,” it's an insult to our intelligence.
What Al Qaeda, where in America, what town, what bush, what candystore, Burger
King, Wal-Mart, stadium, department store, big town, small town, back door whorehouse
or slum? Has anyone phoned it in, even after offering up for several years the
Nazi Germany notion that Americans spy on their neighbors and turn in any shady
characters next door, above, beneath and beyond all reason?
The truth is, we’re reliving the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s relentless
search for “communists” and now calling them “terrorists,”
the uber enemy we created to feed the military industrial complex Dwight Eisenhower
so aptly warned us about after WW II. The same complex that got in bed with
the surviving fascists of post-war Europe, England and America, looking for
an enemy to cover their new/old ambitions of global power, so aptly re-expressed
in the Project for the New American Century’s need for a “New Pearl
Harbor” to stir the natives into a frenzy of war and death still one more
time, i.e., 9/11, to guarantee a “New World Order,” which is in
The need for this fascist, corporate-profit-at-all-costs driven dominance
seems embedded in the psyche of these barely human beings. The same who have
created vast amounts of wealth, like the Bush family, the Rockefellers, the
Rothschilds, the Fords, and now the Buffets, the Gates, the Corporatos, the
“Economic Hitmen” of the world. Their War on Terror will
never end. It’s an incredible cash cow, generating billions in military
and defense appropriations and natural resources, wherever they can be stolen.
They’re getting richer than ever on those three little words: War
And they are using those Three Little Words to impoverish
everyone else, to cut healthcare, to cut Social Security, to cut retirement
plans, to ship out industry from America and sink it in oceans of distant slave-worker
nations. Just as the thousands of great ships we built in WW II to carry fighting
men and cargo, to be the warships themselves, ended along the Hudson River,
not far from West Point, after World War II, in chains and rusting to death,
sold for scrap. Today, that manufacturing heart of this economy and its jobs
have sunk to the bottom of this free-market ocean as the predators swim through,
looking to see what they can still pick from its bones, what part they can sell
off for a few more shekels.
Now think of what an earful this would make if I read it over the phone to
a friend or what an eyeful when I send it over the Internet to friends, relatives
and my editor. Well, millions of Americans’ hearts, minds and souls are
being dissected in this way by these greedy info fishermen from your local Spyware
Company to the NSA. And when one offers a voice of rebuttal, we have elected
representatives like Republican Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, chairman of the
House Intelligence Committee, defending the NSA’s fishy business, denouncing
its revelations, saying, “Rather than allow our intelligence professionals
to maintain a laser focus on the terrorists, we are once again mired in a debate
about what our intelligence community may or may not be doing.”
Oh gosh! Are we questioning them again? Are we exercising the rights of that
useless piece of paper the Constitution one more time, that quaint Bill of Rights?
Are we trying to maintain democracy while they are busy trying to set up a police
state? Where the hell do we get off? Why don’t we get Alberto Gonzales
to put the whole country in irons? Shackle us side by side, from coast to coast,
north to south. And burn those phones and cell phones in heaps like the Nazis
burned books. Ignorant citizens make for good citizens, especially in banana
Again, that phi beta kappa of the tongue-twisted, GWB, tells us “as a
general matter every time sensitive intelligence is leaked it hurts our ability
to defeat this enemy.” You think he meant leaking Valerie Plame’s
identity as a CIA officer when her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson said there
was no yellowcake uranium from Niger in Saddam’s back pocket or weapons
of mass destruction, that the whole thing was a lie. That kind of leak lost
the lives of god knows how many of her operatives working under cover. That
leak was prompted by the president and vice president to insure their trumped-up
war in Iraq would happen, that war that’s lost the lives of 2,700 American
soldiers so far and tens of thousands of Iraqis.
Or do you think el excelente was referring to the CIA senior career officer,
Mary McCarthy who blew the whistle on (i.e., leaked) the agency’s secret
prisons around the world, doing the undoable to terror suspects, which material
led to Pulitzer Prize-winning articles in the Washington Post? Does he want
a monkey nation, chimps that see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil? I thought
he was committed to rooting out evil and evil-doers.
Ah, but methinks, he speaks with forked tongue. Because he invoked
9/11 once again to begin this program of massive spying on the American people,
when in fact more and more scholars reveal that Bush and Company were behind
9/11, both its planning and execution. For corroboration, go to Scholars
for 9/11 Truth. There are dozens of articles to read on every aspect of
9/11 being an inside job.
Sadly, the truth seems far more apparent to leaders of foreign nations and
their citizens than to many of ours here, who find it truly difficult to believe
that Heidi, I mean Bush, I mean the US government, would lie to them. Ah c’mon,
whatdya nuts? Not.
In fact, Bush lied about spying without court warrants. He lied about Iraq.
Lied about not knowing Katrina could destroy New Orleans' levees. He lied about
tax cuts for the rich helping the economy.
Everything he touches becomes a disaster. Countries around the world are divesting
themselves of dollars for euros, not to mention Warren Buffet and Bill Gates
feeling our dollar and economy are on the edge of collapse. And Bush is lying
when he says Iran wants to nuke America. His threatening a preemptive strike
is a tactic to frighten Iran from starting its own oil bourse based on trading
in petro-euros, not petro-dollars, which could sink us, especially given our
spiraling national debt and reliance on foreign money to bail us out, beginning
with daily interest payments.
Then too, Bush lied about cutting out of the Texas Air National Guard. He lied
about being a unifier not a divider. He lied about trying to improve Social
Security. He’s been trying to kill it with private accounts that will
divert all the money to Wall Street bankers and corporations.
And when he says, “We’re not mining or trolling through the personal
lives of millions of innocent citizens. Our efforts are focused on links to
Al Qaeda and their known affiliates,” he’s fibbing again. He’s
looking to put this nation under lock and key, to keep it in a state of fear,
to keep looting it, and keep the oilmen raising gas prices and getting richer,
and the poor getting poorer and going nowhere. In fact, that’s just what’s
happened. The rolls of the super rich have risen dramatically and the rolls
of the poor and homeless have risen dramatically. And everyone in the middle
is not doing too great either. Witness the rise in credit card indebtedness
and personal bankruptcies.
Yet, check out another interesting article from the Washington
Post by Brendan Murray of Bloomberg News (May 16), “Bushes’
Assets May Top $20 Million; Cheneys,’ $94 Million.” I had no
idea public service paid so well. I remember FDR and JFK forgoing their salaries
and serving for a $1 a year. But there I go again, thinking about the old days,
when we’re living in this Brave New World.
So, where do we go from here? Straight to hell if we don’t stop believing
this huckster for the War on Terror and start believing that the real terror,
the real terrorists are located in Washington, D.C. And the less you talk up
over the phone, the Internet, in public meetings, in the voting booth, in the
coffee klatch, the editorial columns the better they like it. Because Power,
this kind of Power, doesn’t like someone speaking truth to it. It’s
that simple. Speak truth to power. Because Power is speaking all kinds of malarkey
to us everyday and expecting us to swallow it with a smile. And that I find
the most amazing of all -- now that I’ve been around the track once or
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.