The "war on terror" -- at home and abroad -- is now more imaginary than real. We live with the dread belief that Americans are under siege by an army of evil-doers probing relentlessly for chinks in our armor so as to strike us a grievous blow.
The surveillance state may strive to know all and see all, but it cannot survive intense scrutiny of its own behavior, even when backed by an army of lawyers who are expert at stretching the law to its breaking point.
Could John McCain or Mitt Romney have gotten away with what President Barack Obama is doing?
Where Democrats once feverishly denounced the actions of George W. Bush, they are now eerily silent when their own candidate behaves in much the same way as his predecessor.
Almost immediately, the press invoked George Orwell to characterize the drama unfolding around Edward Snowden's revelation of the NSA's digitally omniscient domestic surveillance program. It should have been Aldous Huxley.
From Apple's legendary 1984 commercial to Google's "don't be evil" motto, the PRISM Nine have all pulled the wool over our eyes in one way or another. It is high time that companies level with us on the specifics -- most importantly where they stand on spying on us.
The America we learned about in school, the one celebrated in songs and poems, the one to which our ancestors flocked in hopes of starting a new life based upon promises of wealth and liberty, is getting harder to find with every passing day.
"We shouldn't be surprised that a government establishment that is not being held accountable or in check by any other institution, that is Byzantine in size, structure and purpose, and that receives 25 percent of all government funding is overreaching."
Murders, kidnappings -- in fact, all the violent and non-violent crimes in the United States are being committed by people who, if they are on the Internet, were under surveillance. Yet PRISM failed to detect any of these other plots ahead of time.