When a reporter for the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command interviewed Frank Zappa for the commands news syndicate, the story was held by a superior who demanded that Zappa – who had been rather hard on the army – answer one more question: just who does he think will defend the country without the army?
Zappa’s reply: “From what? The biggest threat to America today is it’s own federal government…. Will the Army protect anybody from the FBI? The IRS? The CIA? The Republican Party? The Democratic Party?….The biggest dangers we face today don’t even need to sneak past our billion dollar defense system….they issue the contracts for them.” The interview was not run.
*Note: It’s uncertain whether the above exchange ever took place, since the interview was never run. Nevertheless, the point is clear, instructive and serves as the perfect introduction for this post, whether the words were actually said or not.
One of the greatest afflictions affecting these United States at the moment is the general public’s overwhelming gullibility when it comes to government. You may think this sounds insane given surveys that consistently show Congress with a less than 10% approval rating, but I think this clouds the fact that most people have yet to accept just how completely corrupt and authoritarian government has actually become.
I don’t mean for this to become some sort of big rant against government in general. Our founders set up a brilliant system which has served the country well for over two centuries. What people seem to forget is our system of government wasn’t set up to create a new set of parental authority figures for the public. The entire intent behind the Constitution was to create a series of checks and balances to restrain government from becoming too powerful and working against the interests of the public. Government’s primary role in America is supposed to be to protect the Constitution and defend the cherished civil liberties defined within it. In 2016, it does precisely opposite.
Our government isn’t just corrupt though. Indeed, the primary function of government at the moment is to protect status quo criminals from the public, not the other way around. This is why the rich and powerful are never held to account, which is in turn why it continues to get worse and worse. A key gatekeeper in this whole scheme against the citizenry is the FBI.
Time and time again throughout U.S. history, you see the FBI working to undermine the public’s freedom in order to protect whatever racket their status quo masters happen to be running at the time. There are countless examples, but I’ll list a few that I’ve covered, spanning the last 50 years to the present:
The list goes on and on, but you get the point. The FBI doesn’t work to protect the public. That just Hollywood and primetime television spin. Its true function is to protect government and its rich and powerful patrons from the public.
This sad reality is about to be demonstrated once again with the Hillary Clinton email investigation. If you or me had done what she did we’d be locked away forever without a second thought, but since the FBI works to protect the powerful, nothing will happen. That’s not to say there aren’t some great people who work at the FBI. I’m sure there are, but they aren’t the people making the big decisions. The decision makers know who they work for, and it isn’t you or I.
All you have to do is understand the umbrella the FBI works under. It operates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice; the same department that jumped through every hoop imaginable to avoid jailing a single bank executive during one of the most destructive white collar crime sprees in American history. The one man who ensured the bankers were protected during his tenure was none other than Eric Holder. Now that he’s spun back through the revolving door to Covington and Burling, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Mr. Holder is heading up a fundraiser for none other than, you guessed it, Hillary Clinton.
The Hill reports:
Former Attorney General Eric Holder will headline a “lawyers for Hillary” fundraiser for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton later this month.
Available tickets for the fundraiser, which takes place May 31, range from $500 to $2,700, according to Clinton’s campaign website. “Young lawyer” tickets, priced at $250, were sold out as of early Sunday afternoon.
Actress Julianna Margulies also will attend the fundraiser.
The fundraiser comes as the FBI continues its probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State.
Yep, that’s right. The man who ran the DOJ and had oversight over the FBI during most of the Obama administration; the same man who refused to prosecute any powerful bankers, is now hosting a fundraiser for a presidential candidate under active investigation by the FBI. The idea that Hillary Clinton will be served anything resembling justice is preposterous.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When it’s not protecting the rich and powerful from the public or creating fake terrorist plots, it’s busy spying on the peasants. The latest example comes to us courtesy of CBS News in San Francisco:
OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed.
Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing. It happens all the time, and the FBI doesn’t even need a warrant to do it.
Federal agents are planting microphones to secretly record conversations.
Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”
FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.
Harp said, “An agent can’t just go out and grab a recording device and plant it somewhere without authorization from a supervisor or special agent in charge.”
Because that makes me feel so much better…
If Congress wasn’t so busy being corrupt shills for the powerful it might do something to stop this. I’m not holding my breath.
Meanwhile, as ActivistPost.com warns, the expectation of privacy while in public space is becoming more hotly debated as continuous data collection is increasingly accepted as part of our digital world.
I have previously written about the specific threat to civil liberties that blanket WiFi coverage poses. New York City is turning thousands of its payphones into WiFi hotspots, while “Smart Pavement” is set for a massive roll-out across the UK. This is occurring at the same time that NY senator Schumer has called for a federal investigation into high-tech billboards that spy on the public through facial recognition and mobile phone location data. Some assume all of this is being done for advertising purposes, but it’s also been revealed that many countries are using this to measure and manipulate political opinion.
We are clearly heading into very dangerous territory as all of our data is being opened up for scrutiny by government, while its own operations are being done in secret using the malleable framework of crime and terrorism to justify the means to its ends.
The good news is that an increasingly aware public, as well as a rising number of courageous whistleblowers, are shining new light about the depths to which our civil liberties are being erased.
Stay vigilant and take something from the government’s playbook – if you see something, say something.