Greenwald: Liberal Icon Frank Church On The NSA

From the Guardian (UK) edition of 25 June 2013:

…Even among US Senators, virtually nothing was known at the time about the National Security Agency. The Beltway joke was that “NSA” stood for “no such agency”. Upon completing his investigation, Church was so shocked to learn what he had discovered – the massive and awesome spying capabilities constructed by the US government with no transparency or accountability – that he issued the following warning, as reported by the New York Times, using language strikingly stark for such a mainstream US politician when speaking about his own government:

“‘That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.’

“He added that if a dictator ever took over, the NSA ‘could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back'”…


9 responses to “Greenwald: Liberal Icon Frank Church On The NSA

  1. Libs like Church prefer(ed) soft Tyranny, a creeping collectivist welfare dependency regime instead of an alphabet-Gestapo regime. Same Statism though. Now we’ve got both, thanks to the Democrats/Republicans.


      Ditto. He and the other spineless politicians left the South Vietnamese swinging in the wind after we pulled out. Between Church and Larry Craig, Idaho voters need to do some soul-searching.

  2. “No way to fight back”.
    Perhaps it should read “No comfortable way to fight back”.

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  4. Have any of you fellows ever taken the time to read the entire report issued by The Church Committee? The introduction alone is pretty damn eye-opening and worth every minute invested. You might just want to brush up on it a bit before you start biting the Senator’s heels with such unbound enthusiasm. Being from Idaho, well, Larry Craig is another matter entirely.

    Regarding Dweezil’s comment (Are you related to or one of Frank Zappa’s offspring?) – Who gives a damn about the South Vietnamese hanging in the wind? The world is full of presumed “injustices” and ‘Nam was just another shit hole that we should never have been in the first place. Find any legal justification for it in the Constitution, let alone in the writings published in either The Federalist Papers or The Anti-Federalist Papers. And just like now, I sure as hell never read a declaration of war against North Vietnam. There wasn’t a single “Founder” who would have agreed with a damn thing we’ve done since the War of 1812 with the possible exception of that little Mexican War that ended with the southern border at least geographically fixed in its present incantation.

    At least Frank Church had the cajones to state in the committee report and with great alarm that the Constitution had been suspended since F.D.R.’s 1933 declaration of a “National Emergency”, that we were in effect living under an executive dictatorship and that Congress had (wrongly) willingly surrendered it’s law-making authority to the executive branch. For those accurate and concerning accusations he was villified by the G.O.P. and many Democrats as well, when in fact they should have instantly championed him and turned their metaphorical guns on what the office of POTUS had become and the methodology of how the alphabet soup that make up the bureaucracies of the executive branch of government are in truth the damn government, with a happily castrated congress on the sideline that doesn’t, won’t, and essentially cannot do a damn thing.

    Read “Philip Dru – Administrator”, penned by that horrid little “Colonel” Mandell House in 1912 to see what was envisioned by these cretins. Then compare and contrast with today. “Mission Accomplished.” Entries by bureaucrats in “The Federal Register” are what rule over us, nothing but ink-dripped machinations issued from mindless automatons representing the various executive branch bureaucracies which become “law” 90 days after being published in said “Register.”

    They do not disappear during election cycles. They are a cancer that does not go away.

    On the flip side, the “conservative” philosophy was dictated when William F. Buckley argued in the mid-1950’s that the so-called “conservatives” would just have to put up with “Big Government” until the Cold War was won. Thanks Bill, you patrician son-of-a-bitch and C.I.A. plant!

    That utterance essentially argued a surrender to “New Deal on Steroids” socialism while simultaneously opening the door to idiocies like “Nam” and every brush fire since, many of which our overseers lit themselves for their personal gain or that of some “Ally”, who under any normal point in history would be considered a damn enemy. The G.O.P. focused essentially on stopping the “commie threat” abroad while its domestic tentacles strangled to death what was left of a fast disappearing “republic” into the “democratic socialist” hell hole we have today.

    Soft tyranny? Read the damn report from the committee.

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