The CIA Is Cleared to Spy on YOU….Just Not Elected Officials
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “It’s one of the things that we very seldom discuss here on radio shows and television shows like this, which is motivation. Why do people do the things they do? They do the things they do because stealing, or as Frederic Bastiat called it, plunder, is a hell of a lot easier than actually making honest, hard-won profit, that’s why. This is the easy way out.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: If we browse on over to The Atlantic and Conor Friedersdorf, we’ll find this, “False Equivalence and the Feud Between the CIA and the Senate.”
Political reporters are often unaware of the assumptions baked into the stories they write. Take the dispute between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA. Politico’s latest on the subject: “Dianne Feinstein-CIA feud enters uncharted territory.”
Here is the lede:
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s battle with the CIA has entered dangerous, uncharted territory.
“Caught in the crossfire of the powerful California Democrat’s fight with the nation’s most recognized intelligence agency: America’s ability to manage multiple geopolitical hotspots, top national security nominations and senior Senate and CIA officials who could lose their jobs or possibly even end up in jail.” [Mike: Sounds like international intrigue, like a Tom Clancy novel.]
By way of background, Feinstein, along with other Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats, says the CIA withheld documents in the course of an investigation into its illegal torture and illegally spied on Senate staffers. If accurate, the Senate’s ability to oversee the CIA and the Constitution’s checks and balances are in question.
Mike: Mr. Friedersdorf, they’re already in question. They’ve already been micturated upon. There are no separations. There are no checks and no balances, just like Patrick Henry warned us: Where will your checks and balances be if you unleash into your government the most insatiable of souls and characters? Henry has been proven correct, and not because Henry was a soothsayer or a prophet of any sort, but because Henry just knew that when something gets so large and out of scale and powers consolidated in the center, there is very little incentive to do something about it. Once the power becomes consolidated, there are too many people that begin to rely on it, and they begin to rely on the benefits of acquiring that power and gathering that power for their own professional use.
It’s one of the things that we very seldom discuss here on radio shows and television shows like this, which is motivation. Why do people do the things they do? They do the things they do because stealing, or as Frederic Bastiat called it, plunder, is a hell of a lot easier than actually making honest, hard-won profit, that’s why. This is the easy way out. The best way to explain this is, if we all desire to have the nicest and finest cars, the best and easiest and cushiest jobs with the highest pay, and the best televisions, and live in the biggest McMansions and what have you, what’s the easiest way to attain it? Why do you think radio and television are so littered with: Let me send you this free CD. Bammo, kaplowee, you’re a millionaire, wealth beyond your wildest dreams, champagne wishes and caviar dreams. This is one of the oldest, most vulgar appeals to humanity: greed, self-interested lust.
If you can answer the question of why, which is pretty easy, then you can try and figure out how to mitigate or prevent against it. You’re not going to prevent against it by putting the temptation in front of the parties to be guarded against. That’s the point, or should be the point.
Yet Politico’s reporter, Darren Samuelsohn, has written his article as if Feinstein’s decision to publicly complain about the CIA’s behavior and the dispute with the CIA it sparked is the threat. Her “battle” led to dangerous “crossfire” and important things are caught in it. Conflict is the problem! Comity is the answer! Why can’t they all just get along?
It seldom occurs to the Beltway reporter that open conflict among establishment insiders can be a sign of health: Our adversarial, Madisonian system may be alive after all. I’d argue that the CIA’s ongoing, well-documented efforts to thwart Senate oversight and escape accountability for lawbreakers within their ranks is the problem—and that we’d have great cause for alarm if Feinstein wasn’t furious.
Mike: I think Friedersdorf is right. There is also the issue here, Conor, of duplicity. Feinstein throwing the hissy fit that she’s thrown over this, and throwing it amidst the cries of the populous or the concerned and studious populous to stop doing what the CIA, NSA and other agencies continue to do, which is to spy on the average American citizen, it’s not fair and it rings hollow for Senator Feinstein to be bellyaching about being spied upon, or for Senator Feinstein to be bellyaching about her staffers, [mocking] “You can’t spy on my staffers.” Why not? If your staffers weren’t working for you, you wouldn’t have any problem with the same people spying on them. It’s just because they work for you. I get it. Now I’ve got it!
Eric: Should we just put all the bellyaching aside and all the cries for civil liberties and just accept the fact that anytime we communicate electronically there’s going to be the potential for somebody reading it, so if you’re going to —
Eric: Yeah. Even if the NSA says they’re not doing it, can you trust the internet companies to not release that information? Can you trust the tech people in the NSA to actually appease to the law? I think to a certain degree now, it’s just up to us that if you’re going to give out important information that you don’t want anyone else to read, don’t do it over the internet, don’t say it over the phone. I think there has to be some sort of personal responsibility held here. We can’t always just act as if our emails are this sacred form of communication that needs to be ultimately protected all the time.
Mike: Well, email, if we’re going to use the operative word “mail,” would you say the same thing about mail? If I sat down and penned a letter to my dear old friend Stewart Skrill — which I’m going to do today, a thank you note, I’m actually going to send it snail mail since he wrote me snail mail — and I send it to Stewart, Stewart and I aren’t conspiring to commit any crime. We haven’t committed any crimes that I know of. I’m just going to write a letter to Stewart. Should I have an expectation that the letter will leave here in Mandeville, Louisiana and arrive in Stewart’s home in Vermont without having been opened by some goon with the National Security Agency or the CIA?
Eric: To a certain degree because you’re still relying on a third party to make that transaction complete. You’re still paying, through your taxes, the mail service to go up to Vermont and give it to him. Whenever you do that, you leave yourself vulnerable to stuff like this.
Mike: Then if I communicate in any way I’m vulnerable. The government doesn’t have any right to just open my mail because they think they ought to, or they think there’s something in there they may need to see without having gone and gotten a warrant. If they go get a warrant, then I suppose that I am taking a risk. This is the whole thing. You’re supposed to proceed from the point of view that due diligence and a certain amount of cynicism is always required. Let’s just say if I desire to be as assured as I can possibly be that I don’t want my correspondence being read by a third party inside the government, then I could pay for overnight shipping and send it FedEx, put a tracking number on it, and find out where it is at any point in time. If I did that, I should then be reasonably assured that the letter arrived at its destination and wasn’t open.
Back in the day, during the days of the founding fathers, when they were writing this kind of, it wasn’t even sensitive correspondence like this, when they were writing things like this, they would meet together in taverns and work out a cypher. You know what a cypher is?
Eric: It’s a way to encrypt the letters, I assume.
Mike: Before you had computers to do the encryption for you, you’d draft a cypher. They would sit down and write a cypher. Each party would take a copy. You’d almost always have to meet in person, I would think, in order to do this. Each party would take a copy and say: If every fifth word is a conjunction, then you’re going to look for every tenth word, look for the first vowel, then combine that. Of course, you’d have to learn to write. You could write with a cypher code in case someone did snoop on the mail. I don’t really have any problem with cynicism. At the same time, there is supposed to be an expectation that what you are sending through, especially something like the United States Mail, is supposed to be safe. It’s not supposed to be open. As a matter of fact, it’s a federal crime to open it. If you open it, if you go to your neighbor’s mailbox and go: They don’t have any expectation of privacy. I want to see what’s in that letter. If you stick your hand in that mailbox and open a piece of his mail and he finds out about it, you are going to wind up in jail. You and Kevin Trudeau are going to be cellmates, pal.
End Mike Church Show Transcript