Who guards the guardians?

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SummaryWhether in the realm of security surveillance or global finance, all democratically elected governments are now widely abusing their legitimate, democratically-endowed mandates and power to exert excessively intrusive influence over citizens

Whether in the realm of security surveillance or global finance, all democratically elected governments are now widely abusing their legitimate, democratically-endowed mandates and power to exert excessively intrusive influence over citizens

Following revelations by the Assange-clone, Edward Snowden, of the scope of the US’s National Security Agency's (NSA) spying over almost everyone indiscriminately, the question that has plagued humanity through the ages, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who guards the guardians?), has become profoundly pertinent yet again! Oddly, Snowden is now regarded world-wide, especially by allies of the US, as a new (converted American-Russian) cyber-superhero protecting global democracy and freedom, rather than the embarrassing traitor that the US (and now only the US) insists he is.

These revelations in the global media have been followed by a succession of atypical (i.e., outrage accompanied by demands for apologies, assurances, retribution and restitution), as well as more typical (i.e, “Everyone does it, or at least tries to, but without the same success as the US”) reactions. Why without the same success? Perhaps because of: (a) the US’s far superior electronic surveillance technology and absurdly large security budget for an economy that is effectively bankrupt; (b) the demonic will of its out-of-control, paranoid, intelligence apparatus to deploy that technology against everybody to its outer limits; (c) the profound US mistrust of the rest of the world, including its supposed ‘friends’; and (d) the US’s unacknowledged, unapplauded role as the world’s self-appointed, unilaterally-inclined policeman. The more typical reactions imply: “Why get so hypocritically worked up about an everyday occurrence; a reality and a fact of life?”

Yet, despite those reactions, there is, this time, a sense of genuine global public outrage. The world’s modesty and an universal sense of fundamental human decency, both seem to have been violated, casually, carelessly, almost insouciantly. Even so, there seems to be not the slightest concern on the part of the US leadership for transactional propriety in the conduct of human and international relations. Indeed, that view is commonly shared by most of its citizens; especially the ultra-right wing Tea Party lunatics, who see the rest-of-the-world as an existential threat to the US.

On the other side, citizens, supposedly democratic governments, parliaments and political leaders everywhere outside the US (most strongly in Western Europe and Latin America) suddenly feel—quite ferociously—that they can/should no longer take lying down the egregious surveillance excesses of a rapidly waning superpower. The US’s intelligence

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