ESSAY: The Shadow of Domestic Espionage

In recent days, there has been speculation about whether then-citizen Donald Trump and his associates were wiretapped and otherwise surveilled during certain points leading up to the November election. President Trump says yes and tweeted his belief that President Obama was behind it.

Others say that it never occurred and say that President Trump is an irresponsible mad-man for making such unfounded accusations.

Ongoing from day one of the Trump Administration, the President has been blindsided by various internal leaks — particularly telephone conversations had with other international leaders, which are presumably not for public dissemination — and leaks that obviously were not proffered by the two or three individuals present in the room when these conversations occurred.

Shortly after Trump’s accusatory tweets, Julian Assange of Wikileaks released the beginning pieces of another massive trove of hacked CIA and national security documents commonly referred to as “Vault 7.” According to Wikileaks, this first disclosure constitutes less than 1 percent of the number of documents yet to come. Essentially, what these documents disclose is the ongoing surveillance and hacking intentions and capability by the CIA upon the average American citizen (or anyone else they desire) by turning on or accessing the inner-workings of numerous digital devices utilized by people — including smart phones, computers, and smart-TVs.

As usual, the truth of this Wikileaks disclosure is not denied by the perpetrators and cannot be debunked because the documents are true. As usual, this story is being underplayed and largely buried by mainstream media which seems to be taking up the strategy of “this is old news” dating back to the original disclosures by Edward Snowden in 2013 and so, not worthy of continuing discussion.

Yet all of these things are clearly and closely related to the reality that an over-arching CIA/NSA spying operation is, and has been, going on unabated in this country for years.

So far as I can see, the CIA/NSA and their shadowy and totally unaccountable sub-agencies have gone entirely rogue and can surveil anyone they wish, with impunity.  This has all been put in place by successive Congresses and past-Presidents in a legal way — legal on paper, that is. And now we have the curious case of President Trump who was not the person that the establishment wanted to win, being victimized by these rogue government agencies in purely political ways.

It is in the public record that the Obama Justice Department sought two FISA Court approvals to surveille Donald Trump and his associates during the election season. The first request (in the summer of 2016) was apparently denied. Then their request in October 2016 was approved. Actions requiring FISA Court approvals are serious business and as such, are part of a President’s national security briefings. For President Obama to deny all knowledge of the Trump investigation has no credibility on its face — but we’re all supposed to believe it.

President Trump has, during the course of his new job, obviously found out about the existence of these investigations and is rightfully upset about it. All the more so because (as we know from the public record) nothing untoward was found to be occurring.

And now we couple this with the Wikileaks Vault 7 disclosures, and any thinking person can see that such surveillance is going on all the time with absolutely no accountability or oversight. These CIA/NSA spy operations against Americans and non-Americans all over the world (remember, President Obama’s apology calls to various foreign leaders after Snowden exposed the CIA/NSA hacking of their phones and other electronic devices) are simply a massive dragnet applied uniformly across humanity without proper warrant or showing of evidence justifying a need for it.

If the CIA/NSA surveillance apparatus truly existed for its stated purpose of securing the safety of the American people and American interests, then they should be utterly disbanded on the basis of demonstrating such incompetence at being unable to keep its own secret operations and systems from being hacked and exposed in the first place. What a joke.

As it stands, the privacy protections of the average American citizen, which are fundamentally bound up in the civil liberties in the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, are almost entirely in shreds and have little practical meaning anymore.

And one thing more: is it really such a stretch to think that one contributing reason as to why nothing productive ever seems to get done in Congress and our federal agencies is perhaps caused by otherwise innocent people serving in various positions are under threat of having their secrets and privacy compromised by the people who control this vast universal surveillance apparatus?

We hear in the media vague talk of the existence of a “Deep State” comprised of largely untouchable, unknown, unaccountable, nameless people who actually run things, but nobody can get to the bottom of it, nor does the mainstream media seem interested in getting to the bottom of it. Are they perhaps compromised themselves in the same way?

The CIA/NSA random and universal surveillance apparatus is a truly frightening reality, and the increasing power of it is totally intertwined with regular people’s insatiable desire to utilize more technology for their own convenience.

It is all about the effort to bring total control over regular people via the duress of exposure of things human that used to be held sacrosanct within the realm of privacy. Human privacy has now become the enemy, and human conformity the goal. The use of technology to gather information on people and otherwise control them is now systemic — it has metastasized in our culture. It is all a part of the same effort by a few to impose a vast conformity upon the whole.

We see it in our places of work — where every action and word that can be is recorded and then measured against a matrix of “metrics” chosen by the controllers of conformity — and pain or gain is meted out accordingly.  We see it in our schools — public and private — where every action and word that can be is recorded and then measured against the metric matrix of the conformists.  Our children, from an early age, are given labels and evaluations and so begins the electronic accrual of their life file which may be used for, or against them, depending upon the judgment of conformity that they encounter in their future endeavors. In the unique case of American schools, the children who fall outside the metrics of conformity are most often medicated for “corrective” purposes.

We see it in our medical records — digitized and sucked into some black hole of unknown destination totally out of our personal control. If one doesn’t comply with allowing their medical records to be digitized, then that person doesn’t get health care — it’s that simple.

We see it in our financial transactions where it is increasingly rare to be able to utilize currency in greater dominations than a $20 bill. It is not about the risk of counterfeit bills, but rather to instill a system of electronic transactions that are trackable, measurable, marketed, disseminated, analyzed by metrics, and (in the end) controlled by the shadowy unknown purveyors of conformity.

All of this electronic surveillance and data collection is related and is undoubtedly going to the same place, wherever that may be, and it is definitely not for our own good, nor for our own safety and security and benefit (as it’s sold to us as), but rather it is being done to impose a universal conformity and dependence upon us to which most all of us will have no choice but to be subservient to under the duress of desperation because the conformity purposely exists to eliminate alternative practical actions.

The idea that applying electronic technology to every aspect of our lives that we can allows us more freedom is mostly an illusion. Convenience and time-savings have nothing necessarily to do with the protection and furtherance of human freedom — particularly when such technological conveniences and time-savers relate to the digitizing of one’s personal information. It is, rather, an extremely ugly and inevitably damaging concession to a human conformity movement that we, as individuals, are increasingly powerless to shape.

I hope that more people will begin to wake up to this dangerous and out-of-control trend toward conformity, because it won’t be long before all of us become hopelessly enslaved by it.

Thank God for President Trump being a big enough SOB and boat-rocker to speak about his victimization by the CIA/NSA surveillance apparatus… and thank God for Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Frankly, so far as I can see, both Assange and Snowden should have, by now, received the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism and both should be frontrunners for some yet-to-be-created category of Nobel Prize.

Every human being in the world who cherishes freedom, liberty, and privacy should view Assange and Snowden as true heroes to the cause.

John Corderman

John Corderman is a writer living in Phoenix, Arizona — with extensive experience in retail management, commercial construction, and financial brokerage services. He composes regular comments about American politics and culture.