Isn't it ironic?
Just when criticism of America's vast surveillance program is growing stronger by the day, the government announces it has discovered a serious terrorist threat. Thanks, of course, to the NSA spying program.
"We've heard an awful lot of chatter out there," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss on NBC's Meet the Press. Chambliss is the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which clearly needs to justify its years of invasive spying. The senator said the "chatter" was similar to what was heard before 9/11, but which went unheeded. So now, after they have admitted their failures regarding 9/11 and Benghazi, are we to believe the NSA is competent? Aren't they just crying "wolf"?
When George W. Bush was running for a second term in office and his chances seemed poor, the country was suddenly put on Orange Alert. That really perked up his campaign, arousing a sense of fear and urgency throughout America. And he won the election; Americans stayed with the devil they knew during what was assumed to be a time of crisis.
Fear is being used again. But oddly, the government's immediate reaction has been simply to close American embassies in the Middle East and Africa for the rest of this week. Many of them would have been closed anyway as this is the Eid holiday, which celebrates the end of Ramadan and four weeks of fasting. (Al Qaeda terrorists, like all good Muslims, should be carousing and feasting this week.)
And what about our other embassies around the world? If this is truly serious, shouldn't they be protected, too?
One needn't be a born-again skeptic to question this sudden announcement and its all-too-obvious purpose. Would our government actually create an incident to prove its warning was accurate? Anything is possible. Too much has been invested in the surveillance program, over too many years, to disavow it now and dismantle it. We must keep on protesting, but we may be stuck with Big Brother forever.