The Omniscient State 164

It is not whether the individual had done anything wrong: it is whether the state has done anything wrong. Hague’s plea for the omniscient state is chilling: if you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. So it is alright for the state to eavesdrop all our social interactions, to follow our every move? Is there to be no privacy from the prying eye of the state, which can watch me on the toilet, and if I have done nothing wrong I have nothing to hide?

The terribly sad thing is that, by a media campaign which has raised public fear of terrorism beyond any rational analysis of the risk (depending which year you take as the base line, you have between 40 and 300 times more risk of drowning in your own bath than being killed by a terrorist) there is great public acceptance of the intrusive state. This of course depends on the notion that the state is not only omniscient but benevolent. I do urge anyone infected by this way of thinking to read Murder in Samarkand for a practical demonstration of just how malevolent, indeed evil, the state can be.

GCHQ and NSA share all intelligence reports, as do the CIA and MI6, under US/UK intelligence sharing agreements first put in place by Roosevelt and Churchill. That is one of the most widely known of all official secrets – there are probably fifty thousand current or retired civil servants like me who know that, and many academics, journalists etc – but even in the light of the Snowden revelations, you probably won’t see it much in print, and you won’t hear it in Parliament, because it is still a criminal offence to say it. Let me say it again:

GCHQ and NSA share all intelligence, as do the CIA and MI6, under US/UK intelligence sharing agreements first put in place by Roosevelt and Churchill. NSA and GCHQ do the large bulk of communication interception. Now both NSA and GCHQ are banned from spying on their own citizens without some motive of suspicion – though as Edward Snowden has been explaining, that motive of suspicion can be terribly slight, like you have someone as a facebook friend who has a facebook friend whose sister once knew someone connected with an animal liberation group. But in any event, the safeguards are meaningless as NSA and GCHQ can intercept communications of each other’s citizens and they share all information. I have been explaining this in public talks these last ten years – I am happy it is finally hitting the headlines.

We need Edward Snowden and we need Bradley Manning. I had hoped that the barefaced lies of Bush and Blair, leading to a war that killed hundreds of thousands, would make people see that politicians, and the corporate interests that stand so close behind them, simply cannot be trusted.

The world needs whistleblowers. Now more than ever.

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164 thoughts on “The Omniscient State

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  • Truth Is Free

    @ Million Dollar Question 11 Jun, 2013 – 2:36 am

    I think people should be very suspicious of this O/T post about 9/11. For the record, below are some people who publicly “blew the whistle” about things that they personally experienced and which were not as people were being told by the media and ended up dead. Many others are still alive with perfectly credible eyewitness testimony.

    It’s easy to dismiss them as ‘conspiracy theorists’ yet their accounts are compelling, often corroborative and they provide a far more comprehensive and believable account of the events than the official NIST report. Finally, these people are subject to ‘blacklisting’ once they have spoken out in public and some of the victims families have never received there share of the compensation to this day because they publicly questioned their loved ones deaths.

    “Million Dollar Question” is the kind of dangerous fool that thinks people like William Hague are decent human beings.

    Barry Jennings (Eyewitness to explosions and bodies inside WTC7) — Undisclosed causes

    Kenneth Johannemann (Eyewitness to explosions inside WTC, Saw no airplanes hit but just saw “floors blow up”) — Gunshot to the head, ruled a suicide

    Beverly Eckert (Wife of 9/11 WTC Victim, Earwitness to WTC Explosion, Refused hush money) — Airplane crash

    Prasanna Kalahasthi (Wife of 9/11 “Flight 11 Passenger”) — Suicide by hanging

    David Graham (Dentist who saw three of the 9/11 Hijackers with Pakistani businessman in Shreveport, Louisiana) — Murdered (Poisoned with anti-freeze)

    Paul Smith (Pilot of WABC7′s 9/11 “International Shot” Chopper) — Car accident

    Michael H. Doran (9/11 Victims Lawyer) — Airplane crash

    Bertha Champagne (Longtime babysitter for 911 Perp Marvin Bush’s family) — Crushed by a car

    Christopher Landis (Former Operations Manager for Safety Service Patrol for the Virginia Department of Transportation, Interviewed by makers of “The Pentacon”, Gave makers of “The Pentacon” a photo collection, Involved in the response to the Pentagon attack) — Suicide

    John P. O’Neill (FBI Counter-terrorism expert, Obsessed with catching Osama Bin Laden, Suspected Clinton/Bush/FBI complicity in the cover-up and protection of Bin Laden) — Died in the WTC on 9/11

    Deborah Palfrey (Ran an escort service that had 911 Perps on it’s list) — Suicide by hanging

    David Wherley (US General who ordered fighter jets to scramble on 9/11) — Train crash

    Un-named Ticket Agent (Boston Logan Ticket Agent who checked Atta and Alomari) — Suicide

    Suzanne Jovin (Yale Student who had a thesis about Osama Bin Laden, Her thesis adviser was an intelligence operative) — Murdered (Killer unknown)

    Perry Kucinich (Brother of Congressman who advocated new 9/11 investigation) — Fell down

    Salvatore Princiotta (9/11 FDNY Firefighter from Ladder 9) — Murdered

    Ezra Harel (Chairman of the Israeli Company That Handled Security For All 9/11 Airports) — Heart attack

    Bruce Ivins (Patsy in the 9/11-linked “Anthrax” Case) — Drug overdose

  • Villager

    “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded’” Snowden.

    I wonder if at a subtle level, there is a shift in the collective consciousness taking place, accelerated by the younger generation. Assange, Manning, Snowden and others are responding to the massive injustice we have seen unabated in this new millennium. There are signs of a real and meaningful polarisation taking place at a far deeper level that the peace ‘movement’ around the Vietnam War days.

    The internet is also facilitating and fuelling this. It is a double-edged sword: one that lends to a more efficient and effective information and communication platform to move the global conversation constructively towards greater justice in society. While on the other side the power wielders and brokers figure out ways to sustain their grip and control over the 99%.

    The real impact of the internet as a platform of change is yet to materialise in the way society and government are arranged. Governments and their financial-military-industrial combine still have the synergy of sheer money power. However, in the meantime, millions upon millions young people around the world are creating a 1+1=11 synergy in fundamentally questioning and challenging the fatal grip.

    Snowden’s actions are undoubtedly historic.

  • Dreoilin

    “Alleged “Anti-Terror Bill” to Legalize Administrative Detention”

    Tuesday June 11, 2013 08:00
    by IMEMC & Agencies Report post

    “The Israeli Government passed Sunday [June 9 2013] the “Anti-Terror Bill”, authorizing harsher punishment against individuals suspected or convicted of aiding armed groups in the country, and anywhere in the world.

    Several human rights groups in Israel and around the world voiced serious concerns regarding direct human rights violations, especially since this law strengthens and “legalizes” Administrative Detention orders confining hundreds, and even thousands, behind bars for extended periods without charges or trial.”

  • Komodo

    worrying … I would never have taken Glenn Greenwald for “gullible”

    Even heroes can be wrong, Dreoilin. Sadly, I think Willy Loman has a case. Watching this space with close attention.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now the Russians are volunteering that they will consider granting Snowden asylum if he requests it.

    Putin has certainly taken on board what happened to Williams er al., and is playing it for all it is worth.

    Doubt Snowden will be granted it unless he is indited as a spy, and don’t see him ever going there.

    More likely he will just hang out somewhere with Chris Metsos, the CIA agent who helped set up the Manhattan 11.

  • Flaming June

    The Carlyle Group own Booz, Allan etc.

    As of August 2008, what was formerly Booz Allen Hamilton’s parent company (which used the Booz Allen name itself) divided in two. The Booz Allen Hamilton moniker was retained by the half focusing on U.S. governmental matters, with Booz & Company taking sole control of its commercial strategy and international portfolio. Booz Allen Hamilton is majority owned by private equity firm The Carlyle Group, while Booz & Company is owned and operated as a partnership.[6] On November 17, 2010, Booz Allen’s shares of common stock began trading at the New York Stock Exchange.


    Leaker’s Employer Is Paid to Maintain Government Secrets


    Published: June 9, 2013

  • Flaming June

    I spotted Oliver Kamm’s blog in today’s Times. It is headed ‘Jewish Hatred Lies Behind All Conspiracy Theories’.* He wrote about Bilderberg and 9/11.

    * From memory, I believe it said ‘All’.


    I also noticed that Bill Gates has over £130m of his funds invested in G4S, which means he owns 3.2% of the company. Nick Buckles of Limp Ics fame has gone and an ex BG finance director Ashley Almanza has taken over as CEO. Buckles went off with £1.2m. Amazing isn’t it.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Willy Loman? As in ‘Death of a Salesman’? And Snowden is the salesman? hmmmm.

    “Don’t they send troops back into battle these days with missing legs? Or am I missing something?”

    This seems to be the shiniest penny. Didn’t Einstein work in the patent office as a clerk, before the world discovered his genius?
    Didn’t Einstein fail Algebra?

    I’ll admit, with all due cynicism and caution, that it’s possible this could be a false-flag, but it’s not probable.

  • Cryptonym,, are ALL google owned.

    Although who owns something or where they are hosted hardly makes any difference as all traffic goes through the same sieve and the same parallel conduits, so it is not exactly a case of making it easier for them to tap into by using their own captive firms.

    Not that it means that bloggers there are insincere, and many will have been blogging there since before google acquired the domains and data, and they came with the fixtures and fittings.

    Rod Hull and Emu have landed and are in town being presented with wooly jumpers.

  • Mochyn69

    @Fred 10 Jun, 2013 – 12:38 pm

    I agree with you on this. I have always assumed that anything you do digitally could be accessed by whoever, governments, intelligence services, corporations, the press, anybody really.

    Can’t figure out how you can be just so wrong on Scotland ‘tho!

    It must be a case of cognitive dissonance.

  • Lord Palmerston

    Doug Scorgie,

    >Quite true but the thing that is not interchangeable is the state:
    >comprising the unelected, unaccountable, rich and powerful elite.

    On the contrary, our rulers are indeed elected and are accountable. Our elections are still for the most part properly conducted. Our governments are not imposed by space aliens, they are what people vote for, in election after election. The people have the means to hold the rulers to account; they do not choose to use it, or not on the grounds you might wish they would.

    As for the alternative to democracy, there is no need for explanation. We enjoyed its governance for centuries until the disaster of universal suffrage.

  • Villager

    Ben/Arbed i’m with you guys on this. Confusion breeds confusion. Even if some people go out on a limb to shine a light on the rats. Many blind mice!

  • Villager

    “Can’t figure out how you can be just so wrong on Scotland ‘tho!

    It must be a case of cognitive dissonance.”

    Why is it so difficult to understand that ANY form of Nationalism is just another form of Tribalism. Regressive. We’re a Type Zero Global Civilisation — do you want to remain there? Life moves forwards not backwards thankfully.

  • Fred

    “Can’t figure out how you can be just so wrong on Scotland ‘tho!

    It must be a case of cognitive dissonance.”

    You are right, that is precisely why you don’t understand.

    Cognitive dissonance is when someone holds two opposing beliefs at the same time, like the belief that Nationalism is good and the belief that Nationalism is bad.

  • Mochyn69

    @Fred 11 Jun, 2013 – 9:26 pm

    Therein lies your problem in that you conflate nationalism with self determination!

  • Fred

    “Therein lies your problem in that you conflate nationalism with self determination!”

    No I don’t.

    It’s just that I use the accepted definition of self determination, as used by people like the UN, not a made up definition.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Steven R, Nickerson is a Pulitzer-prize winning photographer who apparently got his employer, the Denver Post, interested in a claim by a Chinese-mainland paper that Edward Snowden had been recruited by China’s Ministry of State Security, or had been caught in one of its honey-trap operations – like I indicated in the Gareth Williams case, and wrote about on, Veterans Today, and other sites.

    Little wonder that the FBI might think that I knew about Nickerson. Actually, he knew about me.

    Now Nickerson has died of a muscular disease, and stuff is starting to leak out about what he was up to.

    Whether his claims about Snowden are true remain to be determined.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Looks more like the omnipotent state where the FBI was fishing around in the hope of determining that I work for the Chinese Ministry of State Security who got Steven R. Nickerson interested in what it was doing, especially planting stories about what CIA/NSA agent Edward Snowden was apparently up to, and Nickerson no sooner got his employer, the Denver Post, interested in publishing them than he conveniently up and died!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “… that motive of suspicion can be terribly slight, like you have someone as a facebook friend who has a facebook friend whose sister once knew someone connected with an animal liberation group…” Craig Murray.

    And given that there are at most only four degrees of separation between everyone on Facebook, that means everyone.

    Now, I’d always assumed that it was common knowledge that the NSA spied on all telephone and internet communications engaged in by people in the UK, and GCHQ did the same for those in the USA (and that there are similar arrangements wrt the other Anglosphere countries). Isn’t that what Echelon is about? I’d also always assumed that all social media networks would voluntarily be being monitored in the same way. Incidentally, they – esp. Facebook – also seem replete with (voluntarily, paid or retired-and-paid?) people who seem to have all day and night to advocate US foreign policy in every way they can.

    It’s good, though, that this whistleblower has come out and laid out the formalised mechanics of it. Sadly, it seems to me that many intelligent people in this country seem to have accepted the snooping security state as normative and necessary and are happy to be monitored. Among the (normatively successfully brainwashed) intelligent ‘middle classes’ (usually proletarians who inaccurately identify themselves with the bourgeoisie they watch on their TV screens) of the UK, you see, rationalisation and the assumption of the beneficence and reasonableness of authority is all-important and in general, dissent is conflated with psychological immaturity.

  • Iain Orr

    So many people regard what Edward Snowden has revealed as a self-evident truth – whether they think it right or wrong that the US and others should engage in so much unauthorized snooping – that the only crime he can be guilty of is that of the small boy in the crowd shouting out that the Emperor has no clothes (or is wrapped in stolen garments) – lesé majesté. That is, however, usually only a crime in absolute monarchies or the more brutal dictatorships. Which role does Obama aspire to? – or is he reconciled to doing a strip tease of all his values in the full glare of global publicity?

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