The big news of the Boston Marathon bombing was that thanks to widespread surveillance, those who did it were identified within 48 hours. That’s good. But there’s a down side to all this surveillance, as I personally experienced.
In the darkest days of the “Dubya” years, I sent my first email urging Bush’s impeachment to Rep. Norm Dicks. Within 24 hours, my email account was sabotaged. The Internet provider rep was unwilling to talk about it. Finally, she said that “someone” had changed my password.
I figure I’m not personally menace enough to the Republican-corporate establishment to be worth wiretapping. The wiretap goons, pretending to be looking for terrorists, were probably spying on Dicks and merely took the opportunity to remove a minor nuisance when I sent him my views.
Why would they spy on legislators? Not long afterward, Rep. Brian Baird, a skeptic of Bush policies, suddenly started babbling pathetically about the need to support the Bush troop surge in Iraq. He took off on a quickie fact-finding tour of Iraq and returned saying he’d vote with the Bushies on this issue. It was as though wiretappers — looking for terrorists of course — had discovered something he didn’t want known and had told him “Go with the Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld/Bush program or see your name in the tabloids.” Massive surveillance endangers American democracy. We must control it.