It’s often been my lament that corporations should never have been granted personhood. it’s a ridiculous status for an entity that exists only to generate money in most cases (hoping of course that real patriotic citizens have SOME other considerations). Yet with the Edward Snowden whistle-blowing case and the government’s hypocrisies therein, I’ve come to a different conclusion: The problem is that corporations are granted RICH personhood.
Lawmakers like Diane Feinstein want Snowden prosecuted with a possible penalty of death, for leaking the details of the NSA’s ‘V For Vendetta’ policies: ” I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason“ said Feinstein, who “told” the NSA to review its policies (a) as if she wasn’t aware of what the policies were already as the head of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee and (b) in the same wink-wink style as the DOJ’s “investigation” of banking practices. What was treasonous here to Feinstein and others was betraying a corporation and corporate government’s crucial need for privacy. But what about the remainder of the country? Normal citizens don’t want their data harvested. They don’t want their emails – sent on supposedly secure servers – stored and read without probably cause, and they don’t want their phone calls recorded en masse “just in case”. If the American principles include the mantra “liberty or death”, isn’t Snowden’s risking his safety for the liberty of others more in service to this country than anything Feinstein and the like have ever done? The key: Snowden’s doing it for everyday citizens. So it doesn’t count.
Imagine if the CIA’s confirmed torturers were treated the same way Ohio kidnapper/torturer Ariel Castro has been (he faces 329 counts) . Instead, the man who exposed the CIA torture, John Kiriakou, was the only one jailed.. for betraying secrets. See, intelligence community folks are protected by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (2). Their privacy matters as they pretend to fight for a liberty that doesn’t actually exist. The reality? They fight for America’s corporate interests, so their right to torture is ascribed a higher calling (public interest) and goes on as per usual. When Castro does it it’s just “sick”.
If those people-corporations like Booz Allen are in fact just “people”, shouldn’t their information and movements be fair game for third party consumption like everyone else’s unless they “have something to hide”? No, leaking their practices gets you fired and potentially sentenced to death. If there are rules for culling information from citizenry, shouldn’t situations where there is too much culling or intentional abuse result in actual criminal prosecutions instead of just empty reprimands and policy reviews? No. Because these are the new nobility, our new infallible parents, telling us to do as they say and not as they do, while expecting us to be grateful for a safety and standard of living that they can’t be bothered to prove they’re responsible for.
Let’s be clear here, if you believe a single ranking politician who says, in the coming days, weeks, and months that they did not know the extent of the NSA’s snooping, you are the problem just as much as the partisan hacks in the entertainment industry who won’t make protest songs or TV shows treating Obama the same way they did when GW Bush put the Patriot Act into place to begin with (3)(4).
Predicted future quotes from Feinstein:
-This hurts the NSA more than it hurts the American people
-We’re proud to partner with Microsoft to sponsor government editions of the Xbox One, dubbed Hal 2013
-Finish your dinner