In a bizarre twist, the head of a federal agency responsible for creating a huge Orwellian facial recognition database has told Americans that they should be “deeply skeptical” of government power.
FBI Director James Comey appeared in a 60 Minutes interview recently and attempted a difficult balancing act. With revelation after revelation coming out of the Snowden leaks, the feds can’t help but acknowledge some of their faults. But the still have to defend the necessity of their expensive, invasive spy programs.
The interview painted the FBI in a sympathetic light, as an agency struggling to protect America in a rapidly evolving world. It concluded with the following quote from Comey.
The lesson is the importance of never becoming untethered to oversight and accountability. I want all of my new special agents and intelligence analysts to understand that portion of the FBI’s history, the FBI’s interaction with Dr. King and draw from it an understanding of the dangers of falling in love with our own rectitude.
This is supposed to leave us with a positive impression of the FBI and other federal bureaucracies. Sure, they may violate our rights on occasion, but they are just trying to keep us safe, after all. It’s a tough job, so why not give them a break?
Of course, this ignores the fact that leaders of the FBI, the NSA and other federal spy agencies have been caught lying to the public so many times that it is jaw-dropping. Why should we trust the proven liars this time around? Even if they are portraying a less reprehensible facade, we cannot simply forget their previous behavior.
The feds are on a mad scramble to rehabilitate their image. This latest approach seems to be to admit fault while stressing their own importance.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, agencies like the FBI and NSA could take for granted that the public was convinced of their necessity and the need to sacrifice some right in order to fight the terrorists. But times have changed. The long line of revelations and obvious lies revealed by Snowden and other whistleblowers forces the feds to admit that they are untrustworthy.
Ultimately, the feds need public support to enact their policies. They may well have a monumental problem.
The Congressional approval rating has been at or around all-time historic lows for years now. Confidence in the federal government has bottomed out in a similar fashion. Trust in the media is at, you guessed it, an all-time low. Americans are losing faith in their institutions. While troubling for the status quo, this dynamic opens the door for new ideas to enter into the mainstream.
While the mainstream media loves to have a Republican and a Democrat shouting talking points back and forth with each other, we work to educate people on how they can solve our country’s problems through grassroots action at the state and local level. For instance, the OffNow 4th Amendment Protection Act that prohibits states from providing material support to any federal agency engaging in warrantless spying has already received bipartisan support and widespread recognition in more than a dozen states.
But the fact is, we cannot do it with your help. We don’t have billions of dollars of special interest money to buy influence. We don’t have a national corporate push behind our project. We need the help of dedicated, passionate activists with the courage to stand up against injustice and oppression. There has never been a better time to fight against unlawful federal power with all of the disillusionment out there. We just need YOU to be the person who organizes of these dissatisfied folks and leads them to do big things.
Join us, and spearhead a revolutionary movement against the NSA and all unconstitutional government.