Snowden, 38 Years Ago!
"We must know to what degree they [the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, etc] have turned their techniques inward to spy on the American people ... If such unlawful and improper conduct is not exposed and stopped, it could, in time, undermine the very foundation of freedom in our own land."
This was a "reference", 38 years ago, to Edward Snowden, who was not born at the time, but who today is 29 years old, during the Hearings of the Select Committee to Study Governmental, Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, also known as "The Church Committee". [Vol. I, p. 2]. Of course, the emphasis has been added.
The comments that follow come from a non-American, a Greek, and address the interesting problem of freedom in the US society. By "society" we mean the approximate 67% of [normal] ordinary Americans and exclude the "moderate" 33%, which includes the vulgar 1% of the ruling elites. Of course, for the 1% there is no problem of freedom; they are the problem.
The US society from about the middle of the 19th century to about the 1970s was a free society, compared to the societies of other "advanced" societies; British, French, German, etc. (of course, taking into account the "peculiar" situation of its dark-skinned US citizens). If I am not mistaken, there is no other place in the world that a "Church Committee" or a FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] could exist. Yet, during the Reagan-Bush(es)-Clinton-Obama era there has been a rather overt downhill course towards a quasi police-state in the US.
I think that one of the factors that contributed to this progressiveness (leftist to even "leftish" attitude) of the US people, was the revolutionaries, known as the "48ers", especially the German ones, who arrived in the US as immigrants, after the suppression of the 1848 social revolution in Europe. That the "Haymarket 8-hours-work" victory, probably one of the most socially successful and tragic historical incidents, happened in the US, could be a verification of that. The "Wobblies" of the late 19th and early 20th century is one more piece of evidence about this progressiveness of the US people.
Also, there have never been conditions of freedom in other societies that could allow what the following American individuals wrote or did:
- David Wise and Thomas B.Ross ["The Invisible Government", Vintage, 1964].
- Daniel Ellsberg [The Pentagon Papers, 1971].
- Victor Marcetti and John D, Marks ["The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence", Knopf, 1974 and Dell 1980].
- Philip Agee ["Inside the Company CIA Diary", Penguin Boo