In democracies, if the people let it, the government can do anything

Given the way the media’s covering the Senate’s CIA report, you’d think something meaningful is happening. Trust me, there isn’t. Because the truth is: Nobody cares. Allow me to explain.

What this report essentially amounts to is who gets to write the history of the American intelligence community’s post-September 11th actions. Each side has an axe to grind. But you personally could make whatever argument you want, have at it, you’ll find whatever information you desire to prove you’re right and others are wrong.

But let there be no doubt, it’s all just point scoring for politicians, bureaucrats, and their acolyte hacks. Ten years ago, your average American guy or gal just wanted to know another terrorist attack wouldn’t happen. They couldn’t have cared less how it was done.

Such as:

“Oh, we’ve got to waterboard a guy and slap him in the face? Go for it.”

“Sleep deprivation? Ah whatever, I slept three hours last night after I got hammered at the game. Do that too.”

“We just need to be safe. Keep us safe. However you do it. Just do it.”

And so despite the supposed moral outrage, when the revelations first came out of what the CIA had done? Most Americans just shrugged. This was notwithstanding all the fervent efforts of human rights activists, Hollywood, politicians, etc.

Ask yourself, what’s shown more public outrage, the recent protests against police brutality, or CIA torture? I think you know the answer.

In democracies, if the people let it, the government can do anything. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the CIA can’t beat people. Only when the public makes it a point to care, does action actually occur.

Do you doubt me? Well, take the NSA. Hey remember all that NSA scandal drama stuff? Guess what? Nothing’s changed.

No major new laws were passed, no powers curtailed, not a thing. The NSA essentially can and does operate exactly as it did way back before all their creepy tactics were leaked. They still get to read everything but your thoughts.

Why? Because nobody cares. Love this fact or hate it, but it exists.

I’m inclined to hate it. Torture is what we do or do not do. Omnipotent government surveillance is either what we do or do not do.

We should, you know, probably have a thorough and comprehensive public conversation about this. Because these things, you know, kind of define who we are as a people.

But I guess that’s too much to ask. I guess folks are too busy shopping at the mall. Instead, politicians and bureaucrats we’ve never met are making these decisions for us. They’re deciding who we are.

That’s the real controversy. Not the report itself. But don’t expect to see this in the news at all.

General Views From Inside a Mall of America

“Excuse me Kind Sir, but what do you think about the CIA’s black sites? [shuffles after guy] Uh, Sir, excuse me, Sir?”

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