Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

NSA surveillance will not ensure freedom and security.

Jane Harmon is correct that “Most Americans and most Members of Congress support the federal government’s effort to identify foreign terrorists and to prevent or disrupt their plans to harm us”. (Security after Snowden 11-9-13 Washington Post) But this doesn’t make it right!  And it won’t make us safe.   Did she forget that the Anthrax attack shortly after 9-11 was domestic in origin?

Does she not understand that the biotechnology that made that weapons grade anthrax can also be used to make other biological agents more lethal than a nuclear device?   And that this technology is increasingly powerful and affordable and far more easy to hide, manufacture and transport.   This means our government surveillance program can’t protect us unless it includes potential domestic origins of WMD.

Ms. Harmon stated in the context of authorizing collection of intelligence that “Executive orders do not have the force of law”.  She failed to mention however, that the Executive office abuses the law of force in using drones to murder suspected terrorists (and on occasion innocent people) that were identified and selected by our best collection of intelligence.   Do we really want to condone this type of assassination without due process ... state sponsored terrorism?

And, computers are not the only technology that “confers awesome power on those who can harness it” as Snowden demonstrated.   Today every technology has the dual use potential for almost anyone to make IEDs or WMDs if they are so motivated.    This means the only “smart policies that protect security and liberty” will be the policies that universally protect the inalienable rights of all humanity and create a global environment of justice where the motivation to snoop and/or mass murder is diminished instead lowering our ideals.