Norman Solomon in “Big Brother’s Loyal Sister: How Dianne Feinstein Is Betraying Civil Liberties” does a good job calling out the betrayal of Senator Dianne Feinstein regarding NSA civil liberties criminality.
Dianne Feinstein is chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She wields lots of power and enjoys and exploits lots of media opportunities to promote pro-surveillance propaganda for the protection of the NSA in weakening more and more of our civil liberties. After Edward Snowden’s recent revelations, confirmations really for many of us, of illegitimate anti-constitutional levels of spying, there should be a call for remedying the NSA's -- and executive and legislative branches' -- defiance of the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments.
Instead, we have craven media “damage control” from people like Feinsten, defending the indefensible. Norman Solomon points out that last Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Feinstein vilified Snowden yet again, all about his “enormous disservice to our country”. Last June, Feinstein bluntly declared that Snowden had committed “an act of treason.” Solomon points out that a few days ago in an op-ed piece for the San Francisco Chronical Feinstein did some classic 9/11 fear mongering. She wrote: “The Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States was highly organized and sophisticated and designed to strike at the heart of the American economy and government. .... We know that terrorists remain determined to kill Americans and our allies.” Then she proceeded to PRAISE the NSA “call-records program” and insisted it was NOT a surveillance program.
Bull shit or as Solomon writes: “PAGING MR. ORWELL!!!”
Feinstein has dared promote and ram through the Senate Intelligence Committee a new bill called the “FISA Improvements Act” which is the opposite. She claims it will bridge the gap between “preventing terrorism and protecting civil liberties.”
Bull shit again.
But as Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Trevor Timm writes, the bill actually “codifies some of the NSA’s worst practices, would be a huge setback for everyone’s privacy, and it would permanently entrench the NSA’s collection of every phone record held by U.S. telecoms.”
California’s senior senator is good at tactical maneuvers that blow media smoke. In late October -- while continuing to defend the NSA’s planetary dragnet on emails and phone calls -- Feinstein voiced concern “that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee wasn’t satisfactorily informed.” Spinning the myth that congressional oversight of the NSA really exists, she added: “Therefore, our oversight needs to be strengthened and increased.”
As usual, Feinstein’s verbal gymnastics were in sync with choreography from the Obama White House. The “certain surveillance activities” that she has begun to criticize are the NSA’s efforts targeting the phones of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other allied foreign leaders. Feinstein mildly chided Obama for ostensibly not being aware of the eavesdropping on Merkel’s cell phone (“That is a big problem”), but she was merely snipping at a few threads of the NSA’s vast global spying -- while, like the administration as a whole, reaffirming support for the vast fabric of the agency’s surveillance programs.
With Dianne Feinstein’s hand on the gavel, you can expect plenty of fake inquiries to pantomime actual oversight. She has shown a clear commitment to deep-sixing vital information about the surveillance state, in a never-ending quest for the uninformed consent of the governed. “From out of the gate, we know that her entire approach is to make those hearings into a tragic farce,” I said during an interview on C-SPAN Radio last week. “Her entire approach to this issue has been to do damage control for the NSA…. She is an apologist and a flack for the surveillance state, she is aligned with the Obama White House with that agenda, and we at the grassroots must push back against that kind of a politics.”
Once again Senator Dianne Feinstein, another faux-progressive of this ethical freakshow of a government, plunges a knife into the back of the American citizenry. We Americans are once again expected to eat more shit and smile and bobbleheadedly pretend our needs are being taken care of as we watch our democracy be killed by our non-representing -- anti-representing -- representatives in Washington.
[cross-posted on correntewire]