Sunday, January 26, 2014

What Principles Does the USA Government Still Honor?

When government's hide policy behind secrecy how are we to know what they will do. The SUA seems pretty clear that they will break international law intentionally and in secret (spying on private communications of heads of allied countries, hacking devices of others…). The extent to which the USA has chosen to secretly and very intrusively spy on billions of private communications is shocking.

The hypocrisy of that same government denouncing other governments for doing the same thing (supposedly spying on the USA, spying on businesses communications, hacking business and government computers) makes the actions by the USA government even more unacceptable. Blaming others for behaving unethically, immorally and illegally while you do the exact same thing is pitiful behavior.

In the past I felt it was reasonable to assume mainly the USA government attempted to do things like uphold the constitution, support liberty, support privacy, etc.. While knowing there were plenty of examples of this behavior being violated it was largely confined to extremes that could hide their actions from view (and so the bad behavior was not so much accepted but allowed because the huge government has weaknesses and those allowed bad actors to take bad actions). Now even beyond that there has always been lots of corruption and malfeasance by extremely powerful actors (Watergate, J. Edgar Hoover, …).

So while far from perfect I figured when crazy stuff like Iran-Contra debacle went on it was a sign of bad government not a sign that the government no longer cared about the rule of law if it was inconvenient. But the disaster of the last 15 years where the constitution seems to have been thrown away for the convince of those with power I no longer have confidence I have a clue about what the core principles of the USA government are.

The last 2 administration have responded to the shredding of the constitution in the same way the Nixon Administration did to Watergate. They have put the force of their administrations behind hiding their actions and in defending the governments behavior. None made more than token comments about addressing the rot at the core of government. Instead they seek to silence those exposing the bad behavior of their government.

While industrial sabotage (at least of allies - which for the USA really means puppet states of the USA - UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, etc.) would certainly be something beyond crazy in my expectations of how badly the USA government would behave. I don't have nearly as much confidence for that belief. While I still think that idea is crazy I no longer think the government would avoid such behavior because it is just clearly wrong. They are doing so much now that is clearly wrong (and trying to hide that behavior from the public view) without any sensible explanation that how are we to know what else they no longer feel obligated to do?

Those destroying the idea of the rule of law for the USA government are not complete idiots. They have done well to make classify their actions as "classified" in order to prevent the public from knowing what they are doing. They have a crop of talking heads on TV that are able to spout talking points and fail to address the issues that should be addressed. I find it hard to believe these people would think they could use industrial sabotage and industrial spying to directly benefit specific companies, in coordination with those companies without that leaking and doing enormously more damage than has already been done. I suppose their hubris could be greater than my estimate. I sure hope not.

This article doesn't support the tile (as far as I can see) but does raise the question of what seem to be one of the few remaining lines that have not yet for the USA government to consciously and intentionally dismantle the idea of the rule of law, German TV: Edward Snowden says NSA is involved in industrial sabotage. It is very dangerous for the USA to act as though what matters if might makes right and the rule of law is only enforced on those without enough might.

It seems to be the principle the USA government cares about is might makes right. After that it is hard to see what principles the government values enough to actually follow itself.

Related: Liberty and Support or Control and Hate - I Can Spy on You, But You Can't Spy on Me - Disregard for the Rule of Law by Government - Living Through Your Society Becoming a Police State

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