As more information is released about the N.S.A. spy apparatus, it has been revealed that the U.S. spies on at least 35 world leaders, including some U.S. allies. One of such leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, had all of her cell phone calls tracked for the past 10 years. In response to the revelations, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said that she expects the White House would stop the program of spying on U.S. allies. Perhaps what is most troubling is that President Obama allegedly did not know about the spying.
If this is true, it would mean that the U.S. has a spy apparatus that has grown beyond any one person’s control. Not only would it mean that there is no public oversight, it is hard to see how there could be any oversight. With no elected officials overseeing the secret programs, even tangential accountability to the public seems impossible. Furthermore, in the culture of keeping even the President on a need to know basis, it is hard to see how anyone could even know what questions to ask to uncover the scope of this underground government.
The U.S. spy apparatus has essentially morphed into the fourth branch of government. There are literally thousands of federal agencies operating within it, and millions of federal employees with top secret clearance. The goals of the agencies are to collect information on everyone. It is not long until agencies will be able to draw pictures of anyone’s life with such detail that they will be able to predict their every future move. That is, unless it has happened already.
The Wall Street Journal, Obama Unaware as U.S. Spied on World Leaders: Officials: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304470504579162110180138036?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories
The Guardian, Mozilla’s Lightbeam Firefox Tool Shows Who’s Tracking Your Online Movements: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/28/mozilla-lightbeam-tracking-privacy-cookies
The Guardian, Three Degrees of Separation: Breaking Down the N.S.A.’s ‘Hops’ Surveillance Method: http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/oct/28/nsa-files-decoded-hops
The New York Times, Is Glenn Greenwald the Future of News? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/28/opinion/a-conversation-in-lieu-of-a-column.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
The Guardian, N.S.A. Review Panel to Present Obama with Dossier on Surveillance Reforms: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/28/obama-nsa-dossier-classified-surveillance
The Guardian, David Cameron Makes Veiled Threat to Media Over N.S.A. and G.C.H.Q. Leaks: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/28/david-cameron-nsa-threat-newspapers-guardian-snowden
N.S.A. Oversight Dismissed as ‘Illusory’ as Anger Intensifies in Europe and Beyond: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/28/nsa-oversight-surveillance-anger-deepens-europe
The Guardian, Spain Warns U.S. of Breakdown in Trust After New N.S.A. Revelations: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/28/spain-warns-us-ambassador-breakdown-trust-nsa
The Guardian, N.S.A. Denies Discussing Merkel Phone Surveillance with Obama: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/27/barack-obama-nsa-angela-merkel-germany
The Guardian, N.S.A. Surveillance: Merkel’s Phone May have been Monitored ‘for Over 10 Years’: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/26/nsa-surveillance-brazil-germany-un-resolution
The Wall Street Journal, McCaine on Spying: What Did Obama Know? http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/10/28/mccain-on-spying-how-did-obama-not-know/