A report was delivered to the President this week by a group of outside advisors regarding the NSA’s unconstitutional data collection techniques. Among many of the complaints cited in the report, the most unreported consequence of the NSA’s surveillance is the impact on commerce, and therefore capital flows and growth.
The report specifically mentions that, “Silicon Valley executives complained to Mr. Obama that the N.S.A. programs were undermining American competitiveness in offering cloud services or selling American-made hardware, which is now viewed as tainted.” A specific example was provided on Wednesday, when Brazil ditched Boeing jets, and grants $4.5 bln contract to Saab, citing NSA concerns.
What’s ironic about the concern from Silicon Valley is that it was the big tech companies that cooperated with the NSA (took money) to permit back-door access to their systems and data sharing. It’s almost as ironic as people giving the Fed credit for saving us from a financial collapse that was caused by the Fed; or the govt’s war on terrorism, drugs, poverty, and ignorance that are largely the result of its own insidious policies.
The violation of our Constitutional rights is obvious. So is the perjury by top “intelligence” brass, that should result in serious jail time. After all, if govt officials are permitted to lie with impunity, how do we know they are not lying every time they open their mouths? It is also important to understand the impact of a loss of trust and confidence in government on capital flows and growth.
However, the over-riding point that people should realize is that the NSA’s surveillance and data collection has nothing to do with stopping terrorism, and EVERYTHING to do with tracking down money for a broke government, and maintaining power. General Alexander admitted months ago in his own words in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that “one, perhaps two” plots were thwarted, and this new report says no proof exist that any of the NSA’s Constitutional violations have thwarted a single terrorist attack. Yet, people are still permitted to state on TV that if we had these unconstitutional tactics in place before 9/11, then the attacks could have been stopped. Based on what? The Govt had plenty of data that an attack was imminent, and they did nothing. The same thing is true about Bernie Madoff, MF Global, and all of the other cases of fraud and manipulation that have been documented over the last five years. Does it matter if the fraud was “missed” due to incompetence, neglect, or complicit behavior? In a free and just society, incompetence and neglect would result in business failure; and being complicit in a crime would also result in jail time. Only in govt can these type of activities result in bigger budgets, bonuses, and promises of high paying jobs in the private sector.
People have a hard time comprehending that it is their own govt that is at the heart of our biggest problems. After all, our political leaders tell us they are here to help. I’m sorry, but the facts and data say the opposite. By its nature, govt must take money from its productive citizens to survive; and through its bureaucratic incompetence and inefficiencies, it does more harm than good for the groups it claims to help. The only people who benefit from govt, are those in govt. If one does not yet understand the big picture or appreciate the Constitutional violations, they would at least have to admit that the NSA and DHS are incompetent, wasteful, and deserve to be shut down now. The only kind of security provided by the Dept of Homeland Security is of the investment type, and therefore they should at least take their security public.