The Quiet Coup: NSA and Big Intelligence is the Shadow Government
The Quiet Coup: No, Not Egypt. Here.
When is a coup d’etat a coup d’etat? A silly debate about the Egyptian military’s complete undoing of the state (presidency, constitution, etc.) is grabbing some attention, mainly because those who applaud the military takeover don’t want to describe it accurately. But it nonetheless is an interesting question. And it has resonance not just in the beleaguered Middle East. It has high relevance, sadly, to our own battered republic.
The revelations about spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on American citizens, foreign governments, and just about everyone in between have been aptly treated as a scandal, although the objects of scorn vary. Edward Snowden, the whistleblower or traitor, depending on your predilections, and Glenn Greenwald, the columnist for The Guardian to whomSnowden revealed most of his information, have shaken the complacent status quo in Washington by revealing the massive, years-long programs to gather data in the name of national security. It’s very doubtful that such spying is necessary to protect U.S. security, but that’s a topic for another day. So is the media attention to the actions of Snowden and Greenwald (which I believe are brave and necessary).
What is vastly more important is how the spying has been conducted and justified. It comprises nothing less than a coup d’etat.