The only thing we have to fear, according to Barack Obama, are the invisible bogeymen ("terrorists") who plot in the dark to kill us all in our beds. With billions or even trillions of dollars at stake, Obama is desperately pushing all the paranoid panic buttons in his propaganda arsenal to guilt-trip Congress into passing the USA Freedom Act "reform" of mass surveillance of every man, woman and child on the planet.
Just 24 hours after the White House and its deep-state private army used the New York Times to anonymously press for open-ended and permanent spying on ordinary people, Obama has emerged from his Neocon closet to deliver the fear, up close and personal, via his weekly address (the quaint term used for his weekly reassuring dog-whistle to his corporate backers.) Just substitute the word "citizen" for "terrorist," for example, and the true intent of the USA Freedom Act becomes perfectly and abundantly clear: the Free Market god will rule over you and yours, forever and ever amen. Because the Permawar Industry is one of the few things artificially propping up the plutonomy these days.
You can read Obama's very flimsily disguised speech here.
But the subtext (parentheses mine) goes something like this:
Hi, everybody. As President and Commander in Chief, my greatest responsibility is the safety of the (ruling class) American people. And in our fight against terroristsIt's all about the money. As James Risen laid out in Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, the post 9/11 era has become a great marketplace of terror, in which we are simultaneously victims, culprits, and above all, consumers in a $4 trillion industry marrying the government, Hollywood and hyper-capitalistic private enterprise:
(ordinary people), we need to use every effective tool at our disposal -- both to defend our (obscene profits) security and to protect the freedoms and civil liberties (of the hyper-rich investors in War) enshrined in our (plutocratic/political donor databases) Constitution.
Today, when investigating (you) terrorist networks, our (state spies) national security professionals can (at their entirely optional and top-secret discretion) seek a court order to obtain (whatever we want) certain business records. Our (spies) law enforcement professionals can seek a roving wiretap to keep up with (anybody we like) terrorists when they switch cell phones. We can seek a wiretap on (anybody we like) so-called lone wolves -- suspected terrorists who may (be entirely innocent) not be directly tied to a terrorist group. These tools are not controversial (because the American people are a flock of sheep) Since 9/11, (civil rights have gone out the window) they have been renewed numerous times. FBI Director James Comey says they are “essential” and that losing them would “severely” impact (the profits of the Homeland-Industrial Complex) terrorism investigations. But if Congress doesn’t act by tomorrow at midnight, these tools go away as well. (and your sense of false security will be needlessly rattled as the Permawar Terror State is exposed as a rotten pumpkin-carcass.)
The USA Freedom Act also accomplishes something I called for a year and a half ago: it ends the bulk metadata program -- the bulk collection of phone records -- as it currently exists and puts in place new (fig leaves) reforms (to hide the fact that despite what Congress does or your president says, the NSA will continue to act with impunity because Congress doesn't really do oversight anyway.) The government will no longer hold these records; telephone providers will (be the government's complicit middlemen, or else they will face prosecution or other threats to their financial well-being). The Act also includes other changes to our surveillance laws -- including more (bullshit) transparency -- to help build confidence among (fool) the American people (into believing) that your privacy and civil liberties are being protected. But if Congress doesn’t act by midnight tomorrow, these reforms will be in jeopardy, too. (You're all gonna die.)
It doesn’t have to be this way. The USA Freedom Act reflects ideas from (surveillance state profiteers) privacy advocates, our private sector partners and our national security experts. It already passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming (politically corrupt) bipartisan support -- Republicans and Democrats. A majority of the (millionaire investor/lawmaker class) Senate -- Republicans and Democrats -- have voted to move it forward.
So what’s the problem? (with willingly giving up your civil rights so that a handful of plutocrats can continue making grotesque amounts of money off you) A small group of senators is standing in the way. And, unfortunately, some folks are trying to use this debate to score political points. (Pick the right team: Obama's) But this shouldn’t and can't be about politics. This is a matter of (money begetting power begetting more money begetting more power) national security. Terrorists like ( the American hegemon and multinational corporations) al Qaeda and ISIL aren’t suddenly going to stop plotting against us at midnight tomorrow. And we shouldn’t surrender the (cold hard billions) tools that help keep (war profiteers) us safe. It would be (anti-capitalistic) irresponsible. It would be reckless. And we shouldn’t allow it to happen.
So today, I’m calling on (spied-upon Americans) to join me in speaking with one (bleat) voice to the Senate. Put the politics aside. Put (the oligarchy) our national security first. Pass the USA Freedom Act -- now. And let’s protect the security and civil liberties of every American (9/11 boondoggle of a spy agency and private security contractor and the mega-rich people investing in same.) Thanks very much.
The new Homeland Security-Industrial Complex.... is largely made up of a web of intelligence agencies and their contractors, companies that mostly provide secret services rather than large weapons systems and equipment. These contractors are hired to help Washington determine the scale and scope of the terrorist threat; they make no money if they determine that the threat is overblown or, God forbid, if the war on terror ever comes to an end.It's no coincidence, as Risen and Top Secret America author Dana Priest have observed, that Washington DC and its suburbs have become the richest part of the country since 9/11, a true corporate welfare state employing millions of people in the high-growth Terror Industry. War is not only tolerable, it is desirable. The war on terror, Risen writes, has become a national stampede to the Beltway, the gold rush of the 21st century.
The only thing Barack Obama has to fear is the wrath of a relative handful of people who've gotten crazy-rich off death, fear, and destruction. His is the voice of a desperate man with a long, lucrative post-presidential life ahead of him and a foundation needing the endless flow of dollars from the same "folks" whose fat bank accounts he is now working so furiously to protect.
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