03.08.2023 Author: Phil Butler

The American Surveillance State – When Will Big Brother Fall?

The American Surveillance State – When Will Big Brother Fall?

Definitions: “impunity, noun, the exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.”

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked information from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) about massive surveillance being carried out on individuals, companies, and governments on a global scale. Snowden released to the media millions of documents and kept essential files to prove his allegations that U.S. agencies, especially the NSA, operate with impunity, spying on anyone in the agency’s sights. Even though Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing unveiled heinous operations by the NSA in close cooperation with three of its four Five Eyes partners: Australia’s ASD, the U.K.’s GCHQ, and Canada’s CSEC, no heads rolled.

NSA boss and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. General James Clapper, who lied to Congress about NSA wiretapping and other strategies, did not even receive a slap on his wrist. Then, President Obama wrote a memo saying he had “full faith in Director Clapper’s leadership of the intelligence community.” Clapper resigned effective the day Barack Obama stepped down as president. He is now an expert commentator at CNN.

Only Edward Snowden paid the price for unimaginable wrongdoing by individuals and agencies of power. He alone is a hunted man. And worse still, the whole affair was a test of the general public’s will to resist tyranny. It seems clear now that then-President Barack Obama and a laundry list of Western leaders in politics and business knew about the deep surveillance of individuals, companies, and even charities without legal authority. In one instance, the NSA, the CIA, and GCHQ went so far as to spy on users of Second Life, Xbox Live, and World of Warcraft and attempted to recruit would-be informants from the sites. All this and much more were revealed to journalist Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian newspaper.

To give you an idea of the gravity of what the NSA was doing, in Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide, he said that the NSA’s stated objective was to “Collect it All,” “Process it All,” “Exploit it All,” “Partner it All,” “Sniff it All” and “Know it All.” Barack Obama defended the NSA and other intelligence agencies and basically told the citizens of Earth to “fuck off” if they did not like America’s way of protecting itself. And the spying continues.

Edward Snowden is not alone in his plight as a truthteller. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the ultimate iconoclast against the real Big Brother Orwell only imagined. On the run from the American security state for over a decade, he sits languishing in Britain’s worst prison today simply for publishing the truth. First, WikiLeaks released the horrific discoveries of Chelsea Manning, revealing war crimes the U.S. military had committed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Specifically, Manning’s evidence showed the world the horrors of the B1 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan, where 147 civilians were killed, most of them children.

Manning also brought to light, through WikiLeaks, the 2007 Baghdad Airstrike, where U.S. AH64 Apache helicopters gunned down two Reuters war correspondents and civilians. The Pentagon never officially opened an investigation but issued a statement blaming the Reuters correspondents for Then own death because they were not wearing “press gear.” No one but Chelsea Manning suffered insult and injury in this case.

WikiLeaks released blockbuster after blockbuster, including how Hillary Clinton cheated her Democratic Party opponent Bernie Sanders out of the nomination to run against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race. In this case, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned and an apology to Sanders from the DNC. Wasserman Shultz is still the U.S. representative from Florida’s 25th congressional district and the office she assumed in 2004. The leadership of America CHEATED the people in an election process, and no heads rolled. Then, they blamed the Russians for losing the White House. And now, since we let them, they blame the Russians for almost everything.

Cablegate was revealing how the Arab Spring was unleashed on the world. Then there were the Guantánamo Bay Files, the Syria Files, the Kissinger Cables, and the Saudi revelations. But with the release of emails to and from John Podesta and Hillary Clinton, WikiLeaks unveiled the sheer arrogance and unscrupulousness of the Washington elites. Then Seth Rich, the source of the DNC leaks, got dead quickly, even by Washington standards. And again, no heads rolled, not at Guantánamo, not because of the Benghazi debacle, and especially not when the U.S. creating ISIS sent millions of refugees to Europe. We are talking absolute impunity. We are watching with eyes wide open the schoolyard bullies fleecing not only other students but the teachers and the principal.

Fast-forward to the recently leaked Discord Files that the U.S. deep state still spies on Ukraine (wiretapping Zelensky’s office), NATO partners including Germany, diplomats like UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and ordinary citizens like this writer, whose Facebook data was recently seized by the FBI in connection with the 2016 events. Most recently, the wiretapping of the minister of Equatorial Guinea on the eve of the Russia-Africa summit shows that U.S. spying on friends and foes has not even slowed down. The American security state listens to and makes records against everyone. My country’s ruling elites have become the new mafia, running protection rackets, using bribery or killing, gathering blackmail information, and trashing everything it says about individual rights in our U.S. Constitution. And still, no heads roll. From drone raids on bridges and pipelines, to satellite targeting of Russian generals fighting in Ukraine, my country threw off the white cowboy hat long ago.

I want to wind up with the Discord Files, which prove the presence of the U.S. and other NATO nations’ special forces operating in the war zone. Only a few Americans realize the Ukraine conflict is spilling into the Middle East. The Discord chat releases, allegedly by Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old airman in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, are dozens of highly classified documents revealing sensitive information intended for senior military and intelligence leaders. Some of the files show the U.S. penetration of Russian military plans, U.S. spy efforts against not just Russia but against American allies, and the United Nations secretary general.

The United States ruling elites are spying and double-dealing with total impunity at home and abroad. Many analysts talk about the U.S. surveillance state, but few tell of the actions taken by Americans after the intelligence is gathered. I won’t talk about the Nord Stream pipeline here, the overthrow of leaders like Muammar Gaddafi, and the effects of American-backed regime changes. I want to end this report with the ultimate damage, the loss of human life, potential, and the freedoms Americans should hold so dear.


Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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