To what extent does the United States Government illegally spy on U.S. citizens?

March 6, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More

In today’s column, Glenn Greenwald of offers links to numerous credible resources that document:

1. That the U.S. Government has illegally spied on thousands of Americans and continues to illegally spy on Americans.

2. That the White House blatantly lies about this gross misuse of government power;

3. That Congress (with the notable exception of Russ Feingold) doesn’t care enough about this issue to do anything about it, and readily buys the lies of the White House, and

4. If unchecked power is vested in government officials, they’re going to abuse that power;

Greenwald’s suggestion is that the existing three branches of government need a big push because they are simply not getting the job done:

Maybe the only way to ensure that vast surveillance powers aren’t abused is to have something like an independent check on how those powers are exercised — a check from, say, one of the branches other than the one exercising those powers.  It’s understandable that our Congress hasn’t yet decided that this is necessary because the whole “checks-and-balances” concept is quite new, just a couple hundred years old.

 Greenwald’s windup spells a-p-a-t-h-y:

At some point — many, many years from now — there will be some report issued by an executive agency or a Congressional Committee finally describing the nature of the illegal spying programs implemented by the Bush administration and detailing all of the abuses. And the same members of Congress who looked the other way and then voted to legalize these programs will express all kinds of outrage and surprise.


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Category: American Culture, Communication, Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    The FBI is now trying to partner with private corporations to create joint "anti-terrorism" operations through an organization called the InfraGard National Members Alliance ( The stated purpose is to prevent IT (information technology) terrorism, due to the fact that most IT infrastructure is owned by the private sector. However, the potential for illegal spying and entrapment is significant. Add to this the Bush Administration's efforts to get legal immunity for corporations that cooperate with the government's illegal spying efforts, and we have the makings for a truly totalitarian state.

    All of this reminds me of a disturbing quote I read recently: when the next group fascists shows up to try to grab absolute power, they won't be wearing swastikas and brown shirts; they just might be wearing Christian crosses around their necks and little American flag pins on their lapels.

  2. Jan Lloyd says:

    They are already here, your description is perfect.

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