NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 24, 2014

A debate about NSA is not enough

To the editor:

My question is, who does the NSA work for? I’ve been troubled by this for some time, especially now that it has been made clear that each and every one of us is tracked daily and the information gathered stored in huge data bases.

And the answer given to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ inquiry asking if the NSA spies on members of Congress leaves us to believe that, yes, all citizens of the United States, and all others worldwide, are targeted for surveillance.

So who are the people that run the NSA? Who profits from the surveillance mania, other than those who draw hefty paychecks from common taxpayers in prosecution of the agenda? Who writes the agenda? Who has access to this mega-info and what do they do with it?

How much industrial and economic espionage is bolstered by information gleaned through the NSA?

Since our jobs, healthcare, education, safety nets and infrastructure are going down the tubes, I don’t get the feeling that the well-being of the general public is of any concern to whomever calls the shots at the NSA.

Since the quest for world dominance creates hostility and blowback around the globe, I don’t buy the idea that the NSA acts solely to protect us. If that were the case, our foreign policy would be changed radically and we would be shown much more respect. Who are the elite few holding all the secrets, viewing all the classified information, making all the decisions about which we — the people — are not allowed to know?

The following is quoted from an article by Tom Englehardt at TomDispatch.com, dated Jan. 5, entitled “A Ripley’s Believe It or Not National Security State”

“... the government has grown ... a national security state that is remarkably unchecked and unbalanced. In recent times, that labyrinthine structure of intelligence agencies morphing into war-fighting outfits, the U.S. military (with its own secret military, the special operations forces, gestating inside it), and the Department of Homeland Security, a monster conglomeration of agencies that is an actual “defense department,” as well as a vast contingent of weapons makers, contractors, and profiteers bolstered by an army of lobbyists, has never stopped growing. It has won the undying fealty of Congress, embraced the power of the presidency, made itself into a jobs program for the American people, and been largely free to do as it pleased with almost unlimited taxpayer dollars.

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