I think this comic is absolutely brilliant.
© Zach Weinersmith
The only thing I would add is the thing that in some ways scares me the most: that our spying agencies seem to actually believe their own PR. They believe that by breaking the law and spying on US citizens that they are protecting us. They believe that they are the “good guys” when they assassinate people. They think it is necessary to stage false flag operations in order to start wars to keep the oil flowing. They think Edward Snowden and people like him deserve to be killed without trial.
And my comment: Why was this not addressed in the media when Bush made the Department of Homeland Security with the spying and when Obama ran for the second time? Only recently has the issue come up. Obama has cut back (he says) but not to pre 9/11.
The issue came up recently only because Edward Snowden got away before he could be killed. Sigh
I think the issue came up long and loud when Bush created Homeland Security and got the Patriot Act passed. It is just that the people raising the issue were drown out by the media screaming that those people were unpatriotic and closet al-queda supporters.
To set the record straight Homeland Security does not spy. They were created to bring all the departments associated with the security of our borders under one umbrella. Originally, Customs, INS and the Coast Guard were separate, but now they all fall under DHS, although they were renamed along with the newly created TSA. Customs broke into 2 parts, CBP and ICE and the INS broke into 2 pieces ICE and CIS. The Coast Guard didn’t change. Now ICE has 2 parts HSI, which is the old investigative arm of Customs and the enforcement arm of INS. CBP performs as inspectors for passengers and goods arriving at ports and if criminal activity is found pass it onto HSI for investigation. DHS does maintain information on home grown terrorist groups, gangs, criminal organizations etc to evaluate their potential for threat against crucial infrastructure. There are no spies at DHS.
They are over there in the CIA and NSA which are 2 separate entities that can collaborate. They are charged with determining threats and gathering information abroad. The CIA uses human intelligence or hands on and the NSA uses technology or hands off.
The Patriot Act is the main culprit in our current state of intelligence gathering and mainly that the powers in charge can use it to supplant our 4th amendment rights.
I work in a group under HSI and we do all criminal investigations without spying on anyone. With spying you are under no obligation to inform them they were spied on, in an investigation you want to prosecute them and must share everything you will present as evidence to the defense team. If any evidence was not gathered with due process, ie subpoena’s or court orders then it is inadmissible. So there is a big difference between spying and conducting an investigation.