It’s that day again where we contemplate the great project a bunch of rebels set out on 237 years ago.
In recent years, I’ve focused on what those rebels said about the judicial abuses of King George — language about denying some of Trial by Jury.
But this year, particularly given the coup in Egypt, I want to contemplate this passage.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
We’re far from the militarized state that existed when the rebels threw off King George. Obama’s Administration is, reportedly, currently investigating two retired Generals for telling secrets the Administration didn’t want told. Most of the country barely contacts the 1% that fights our wars for us.
All that said, we are experiencing a sequester that has had the effect of cutting off funding from our most needy, while not affecting the funding of our military contractors.
We are learning that our military — the NSA — is collecting all of our calls and keeping the emails we try to encrypt.
Before we welcome immigrants, we’re going to make another attempt to wall off our southern border — another attempt for the profiteers to get wealthy while the poor suffer.
Mostly, though, I’m thinking of our foreign policy.
One key strategy of the Obama Administration is to pursue secret trade deals that subvert our sovereignty to the wishes of corporations (and to cut off other countries if they try to do something, offer asylum, that is well established under international law).
Then there’s our use of the military in relations with others. Some months ago, a top General argued the way to restore our relations with Pakistan is to forge even closer ties with its military; already the military has succeeded in vetoing civilian efforts to rein in drone strikes in that country. Similarly, while Egypt has been through two governments in the last several years, we continue to fund their military, and continue to expect and encourage it to broker power.
With Edward Snowden, we appear to have placed demands on NATO countries France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal to deny Evo Morales overflight. But Austria, not a NATO country, offered Morales a place to land. Did we secretly declare Snowden mutual defense threat against NATO, because he revealed how much the government spies on us all?
We don’t have soldiers sleeping in our homes. We’re a long way from that kind of militarization. But we are, increasingly, becoming a military empire at the expense of the Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness of American liberty and — even more so — the liberty of people around the globe.
Happy Birthday, you rebels.
The Fourth of July reminds us as Americans of the freedoms and rights all citizens of our country are guaranteed by our Constitution. Among those is freedom of speech, often exercised in protests of various kinds. NSA does not object to any lawful, peaceful protest. NSA and its employees work diligently and lawfully every day, around the clock, to protect the nation and its people.
That’s big of the NSA.