NSA's PRISM, the IRS scandal: The U.S. Government gone wild

The United States government's massive size makes it ripe for abuse and scandal. Photo: AP

CHICAGO, June 13, 2013 — The NSA’s domestic surveillance program and the IRS scandal didn’t come from nowhere. They have a geneology.

Roosevelt begat Truman. Truman begat Eisenhower. Eisenhower begat Kennedy. Kennedy begat Johnson. Johnson begat Nixon. Nixon begat Ford. Ford begat Carter. Carter begat Reagan. Reagan begat Bush. Bush begat Clinton. Clinton begat Bush. Bush begat Obama.


SEE RELATED: The NSA: True lies in the national security state


There you have the genealogical family that begat domestic spying, domestic intelligence operations, illegal wiretapping and eavesdropping, electronic surveillance on a massive scale, wholesale violations of civil rights. These were the overseers of egregious, constitutionally questionable investigations by government bureaucrats to target “enemies”, political and otherwise, using government agencies to nullify, spy on, and investigate the news media. They fomented secret wars, and in the case of Bush and Obama, used technology for surgical assassination and warfare (drones).

They created massive government regulatory and administrative bureaucracies ― in fact, intelligence agencies ― which demand information from businesses of all sizes to use against them at will ― EPA, OSHA, IRS, and a host of other alphabet agencies, great and small. The used these agencies and the intelligence they gathered to torment, punish and destroy their enemies. Remember, intelligence is nothing more than information. Intelligence gathering is information gathering. What better way to gather intelligence than through pervasive regulatory regimes?

This structure was put in place and justified to protect Americans against Something, to defend us from Them. They were the enemy. Americans love conflict. In order to have conflict you need enemies: Communism, organized crime, revolutionary movements, social movements, socialism, anti-whatever movements, pro-something or other movements, terrorism, racism, far left and right wing nuts, guns, poverty, urban violence, hippies, yippies, tea partiers, occupiers. The list goes on and on, like the Song That Doesn’t End.

Each president inherited and built upon the intelligence and bureaucratic structure left behind by his predecessor. Each president, if he had the cooperation of the legislature, created bills that allowed him to abuse it. Each president, with the help of his party, created new enemies, foreign and domestic.


SEE RELATED: PRISM and the NSA raise larger questions about the War on Terror


Each president had convenient or consequential distractions to take the public’s mind off his shenanigans ― depression, recession, wars, communism and organized crime. One of the most potent distractions was the development of wedge and fringe issues, which began to polarize Americans. Citizen sheeple who strictly follow party ideologies are a godsend. The politicians proved, once and for all, that the American voter is low information and lacks critical thinking skills.

The fact that President Obama is surrounded by scandal says more about his administration’s lack of common sense and intelligence than their morality, ethics, and alleged legal and constitutional scholarship. They are just too plain dumb not to get caught, over and over again. They have too much schooling and not enough education. Nixon was caught, paid the price, and went away. But, the structure and bureaucracy he inherited was still in place. He bequeathed it to future presidents. They carried on.

Legislatures and Supreme Courts have come and gone. They made changes, some for the better and some for the worse. Most of those changes were just tweaks. The structure or system corrected itself and survived.

There are three types of corruption and illicit activity. One is blatantly illegal and/or unconstitutional. One is purely unethical. The last is the vast gray area in between, where politicians and their operatives live. Every now and then they touch the border of illegality or unconstitutional behavior. Corrections are made, through legislation, and they return to gray. When they touch the unethical edge, headlines are made. Those headlines are made to go away. People’s attention spans are too short to remember. Politics, especially Washington politics, is a perfect magical world.


SEE RELATED: IRS, AP, Fox, Benghazi, Republicans and Democrats


It is not just administrations and legislatures that are out of control. The government apparatus is so huge no person or group can control it. There are high level career bureaucrats who wield far more pure power than elected officials, including the president. Special interests know this, which is why they spend huge sums lobbying high level bureaucrats and appointees.

The major argument to reduce the size of government can be centered on the unknown abuses such a massive bureaucratic structure can introduce, implement, and execute at will, without the knowledge of those in charge of governance and oversight. It conveniently allows for politicians to play the know-nothing game.

It is curious that elected officials are against something before they are for it. Democrats, including this president, lambasted President Bush for implementing surveillance programs under the Patriot Act. Now they are lining up to defend it. This is nothing new. It is politics as usual. But they will never admit one thing, the most important thing: The United States government is too big to control. Too much power is in the hands of over educated well compensated career clerks. The United States government is an uncontrollable wild beast they refuse to tame. It serves their purposes.

At the end of the day, no matter your political persuasion, you are to blame for this. You keep electing and reelecting these people. They keep increasing the size of government, keeping the powerful clerks employed. You keep paying taxes for massive waste, malpractice, and malfeasance. The only people dumber than our politicians are the voters who keep electing them.


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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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