The Fourth

First, broadly considered, the [Fourth] Amendment speaks to the autonomy of the individual against society. It seeks to accord to each individual, albeit imperfectly, a measure of the confidentiality essential to the attainment of human dignity. It is a shield against indiscriminate exposure of an individual’s private affairs to the world–an exposure which can destroy, since it places in jeopardy the spontaneity of thought and action on which so much depends. As Justice Brandeis observed in his dissent in the Olmstead case, in the Fourth Amendment the Founders “conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone–the most comprehensive of rights and the most valued by civilized men.” —Attorney General Edward H. Levi before the Church committee, November 6, 1975

In quoting this, I refer not only to the right to have ones own thoughts and affairs be private from surveillance, but also to have ownership of them. Behavioral modification violates this principle as well, and even more so. In the case of surveillance an individual is having a paranoid government snooping in order to decide if somehow that person is a threat of some sort (I would say most likely of a political nature, that is as a subversion of democracy hiding behind the War on Terror while also selling that individual’s data to some corporation for better marketing of some other corporation’s wares) while the second one seeks to modify who the person is. That is the most sinister and abhorrent of acts, a defilement of humanity. Torture does this, as does drugging and brainwashing, regardless of how it is accomplished, as I imagine does rape.

That is what I am talking about. The shaping of society–not how ‘society’ wants it to be–but how a few depraved, selfish criminals want it to be. That’s why this represents a danger to the country. In surreptitiously shifting it all the way a few people want it, it removes freedom. It is a bit like monarchy.

Levi talks a lot about NSA being free to examine foreign communications because what is happening now was unthinkable or nearly so in the 1970s. That longtime government servants would decide that the American people are themselves the enemy, to suddenly treat them like a foreign hostile nation simply because they don’t like where they think policy would go if left to their own decisions and that they would stoop to such depths in order to subvert the very freedoms upon which the country was founded, was simply inconceivable in 1975 or nearly so. In fact, it was preserving those freedoms now under attack that, in theory, at least in part, prompted the previous programs that the Church hearings investigated. Protecting our freedoms from communism was the reason or excuse, depending on who you ask.

Levy goes on to explain the the Fourth Amendment was largely James Madison’s idea and was largely aimed at illegal search and seizures, how both the British crown and local law enforcement violated homes and property for reasons other than those given, often politically motivated against people clearly innocent of what they were being investigated for. The parallel to warrantless mass surveillance is fairly clear. Destroying a person’s identity, on the other hand, sounds like science fiction even though a lot of money and time has been poured into doing that very thing for many, many years now.

And that is where we are: a government united in treating its citizens guilty with no interest in being proven either way. It makes a few powerful people money as do continued false-flag attacks, phony intelligence based on torture, driving mentally disturbed people to violence using and abusing scientific research and psychology, agents provocateur pretending to be part of otherwise peaceful legal protest groups or entrapping the same, phony financial crises which on the one hand demand austerity and on the other provide unprecedented profits, and hate-filled rhetoric aimed at whichever minority group the majority bullies think they can get away with demeaning as scapegoats.

This government has become every bit as much a thugocracy as Russia. Just because the bosses are the heads of corporations, elected and appointed officials, and career public servants and not the heads of crime families doesn’t make it any different except in name. The difference between what we have now and what we had in the past is, this time they intend to play for keeps and the key to pulling that off is brainhacking.

Christ, is that getting through?

Speaking of excuses, I can imagine some pointing to the “real” threats, whatever and wherever they may be, as justification. An analogy: this is like the police saying, “It’s okay that we abuse innocent people. Don’t bother us because there are criminals out there somewhere.” That is precisely why you don’t and cannot tolerate abuse of the public, because it gets in the way of the real job. When you attack your own citizens, you make yourself vulnerable to the enemy through your own foolishness and/or corruption. And when a person blows the whistle on wrongdoing, on things that run counter to the mission, it should be welcomed as a chance to improve, not punished. That’s as much proof as you need: they know what they are doing is wrong and backwards. They just don’t care.

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