The Surveillance State + Shredding the Constitution

Program #GREG002-GREG001.

First Program: Glenn Greenwald - The Surveillance State

The June 2013 revelations of massive government spying should not really come as a surprise. Since Sept 11 there has been a steady drift to more and more state power, secrecy and totalitarianism all in the name of national security. Snooping, prying, eavesdropping, call it what you want the government is doing it on a scale never before seen. Sophisticated new technologies allow for more intrusions into our private lives. Beyond the ever present cameras, there is deep data-mining, nanosecond biometric identification and drone aircraft in the skies above. The invasive monitoring of public space and the simultaneous erosion of our rights has been largely a bi-partisan affair. State surveillance power, undermining basic freedoms in the name of protecting them, is growing relentlessly. The swelling domestic databases of the NSA probably contain your personal information including emails, text messages, and phone calls. And this burgeoning Orwellian apparatus has become a cash cow for corporations such as Booz Allen Hamilton. Comedian Stephen Colbert sarcastically observes, There are bound to be casualties in the never-ending war on terror and one of them just happens to be the U.S. Constitution.

Second Program: Glenn Greenwald - Shredding the Constitution

The Constitution is often referred to in reverential, almost sacred terms. Its framers too are endowed with near holy qualities. Politicians vie with one another as they pay lip service to the country's founding document. But over the years from the Palmer Raids to political witch-hunts known as McCarthyism to COINTELPRO to the present, the Constitution has been violated by the government. Criminalization of dissent, a hallmark of totalitarian regimes, is increasing. The FBI raids the homes and offices of anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. It has targeted Greenpeace and other environmental and peace and justice groups. Citizens are spied upon. E-mails are read. Phones are tapped. And everywhere cameras take pictures. In the name of security basic freedoms are being eroded as state policing agencies accrue more and more power.

 

Speaker(s):

Glenn Greenwald (click to view archive)

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for The Guardian, broke the story of Washington’s widespread electronic dragnet. His exclusive interview with NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was an international media sensation. He is a lawyer and the author of How Would a Patriot Act? and With Liberty and Justice for Some. He is the recipient of the Izzy Award from the Park Center for Independent Media for his "pathbreaking journalistic courage and persistence in confronting conventional wisdom, official deception, and controversial issues." He also received an Online Journalism Award for Best Commentary for his coverage of Bradley Manning. 

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