the Daily Times Pakistan
, Tammy Swofford reminds us of the dystopian dangers of absolute national security:
On May 25, 2013, the government very quietly removed an elderly gentleman from the sidewalk in front of the Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He had set up a small display with the original documents known as The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution. They rested on hand carved wooden easels on either side of the entrance to the building. Those who passed by were impressed by the genteel manner of the man. Perhaps more startling was the phrase that he kept repeating again and again: “Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.”
As the white-haired gentleman hailed from a private estate known as Monticello, he was remanded to the custody of the Virginia State Police and is now housed at an undisclosed location. Although there is nearly a complete media embargo on the peculiarities of this arrest, small factoids about the case are finding their way into a network of underground reporters who have managed to evade the surveillance of the state. A profile and extensive dossier had previously been constructed by the NSA and CIA on this particular citizen. He possessed a powerful intellect and strong command of the English language. At an earlier date, he had been heavily recruited to join the growing ranks of his powerful analytical peers. His subsequent protest was categorised as one of imminent threat to the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the security apparatus.
Interestingly, the technology that has allowed for the NSA PRISM programme is the same technology that has diminished any real public support for the elderly man who quietly went about his work as a sentinel. A new generation feeds on a virtual reality inhabited by avatars and unpredictable friends. Technological advances have placed increasingly complex global networking capabilities within the hands of the masses. This seems like empowerment. But a more subtle side to the technology has been exposed. A public poll assessing interest in the aforementioned arrest determined that 45 percent of Americans polled had little concern for the man on the sidewalk. In fact, they believed that the PRISM programme should be expanded. The conclusion is self-evident. This technology used by the masses is nimble in its psychological enslavement capabilities. For the unaware, it captures and enslaves the intricate reasoning processes necessary to understand concepts such as human liberty, right to privacy, and protection from unlawful seizure. Mildred Montag and a seashell to the ear. Fahrenheit 451.
PRISM. Bellum omnium in omnia.
One of the white-haired gentleman’s jailers, a rather brave fellow by the name of Edward Snowden, agreed to smuggle some of the private papers of this man into an underground media network. These papers were stored on a flash drive that was hidden in the heel of his boot. He assured the jailer that a forensic sweep of his private papers from his laptop at home had already been accomplished on more than one occasion. As I bring this report to you, the status of the jailer is also unknown. He is no longer available for updates on the physical condition of the prisoner. But he is known to be in a weakened state. So today, I release to you a few of the thoughts of this prisoner, delivered to me in a parking garage in Dallas. These are his words. His name is Thomas Jefferson....
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Labels: Always On Watch, commentary, freedom, national security, tyranny