Not likely, but a good idea that keeps cropping up.
Wheeler isn’t the only one. David Rothkopf of Foreign Policy magazine writes that it is time to “declare an end to a decade of fear.”
Fear will not subside, of course, if most of our political leaders have anything to do with it. It serves the executive branch, the warriors, and the spooks, well if we remain willing to accept any infringement of our liberties for fear of “terrorism.” Republicans want to beat up on the administration for doing anything so normal as having enterprising ambassadors who actually talk to the locals. This is dangerous work; sometimes it goes sour. Hence the pseudo-scandal: ¡Benghazi!
Our leaders are certainly not fighting any threat they believe actually puts the United States of America at genuine risk. If they were, they wouldn’t have put up with the sort of bureaucratic wrangling, turf building and incompetence recorded by Mark Mazzetti. The terrorists ensnared a gullible nation in their “security theater” with the help of our own pols; more fool us!
But Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden -- not necessarily personable individuals, but heroic figures both -- have blown the whistle to alert more and more citizens to the free pass to encroach that our spooks have been enjoying. And there are even stirrings in Washington aimed at recovering some civil liberties from the garbage heap. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) who has been trying to blow open NSA spying for a long time offered a warning in a speech last month that I’ve only now had time to absorb. Here are some pertinent bits:
Wyden, a Senator, evidently finds the national security state nearly as scary as I do. It’s a lot scarier than a few foreign terrorists who might be able to blow up some unlucky ones of us -- and even scarier than our homegrown terrorists who demand the right to tromp around with high capacity magazines in their favorite automatic rifles. We either rein in the fear mongers -- and soon -- or our fear obsessed nation becomes an ever more repressive failure.