Monday, August 05, 2013

America's Masters

America's furtive secret police are being investigated due to the disclosures of Edward Snowden. This is good - for too long there's been little or no oversight. Huge funding has been spent on protecting the interests of a few handfulls of robber barons, and also ??? -- who knows.

Are there typical secret police? One key problem is too many technicians merely follow orders, and those orders might originate from dark prejudice or from furtive overseas interests. Without oversight or accountability, how do we know our secret services are not infiltrated? Perhaps hardworking well-meaning honest Americans in our secret police now unknowingly work for foreign powers.

Will a personnel snapshot of our secret police and military intelligence show a range of superheros? They may be skinny technicians. Though whistleblowers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are heroic to many, the weakest link in their secret services seems very weak indeed.

One of the problems of such extensive secret police forces is their potential to destabilize governments. The FBI "Official and Confidential" black files of J. Edgar Hoover (link) were allegedly used for decades to blackmail Americans - especially high public officials. Hoover is dead. Has all blackmail stopped?