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The Destroyer of Words

We always knew that technology could do this. What we had not suspected was that the Obama administration would do this.

by
Richard Fernandez

Bio

June 11, 2013 - 4:34 pm
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The latest scandal story about the State Department coverup of a U.S. ambassador who was allegedly soliciting prostitutes in a public park brought two things to mind. The first, unbidden and unsupported, was that factions in the bureaucracy were at war with each other and the target of the one faction was Obama and the target of the other was She Who Must Not Be Named.

But that was speculation. The more tenable line of thought was a reminder that humans are fallible and often corrupt. This has always been true, so how do we live with ourselves? At first, simply by surviving the worst we could do to ourselves.

For much of history our ability to harm ourselves was fortunately limited by the crude nature of our means. But by the dawn of the 19th century it became obvious that the lack of technology alone could not forever protect us. Men were inventing more and more lethal devices. Dynamite, when it was first introduced, produced almost the same fear in futurists as the atomic bomb. It is widely believed that Alfred Nobel endowed the “Nobel Prize” to assuage a guilty conscience.

In 1888 Alfred’s brother Ludvig died while visiting Cannes and a French newspaper erroneously published Alfred’s obituary. It condemned him for his invention of dynamite and is said to have brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary stated, Le marchand de la mort est mort (“The merchant of death is dead”) and went on to say, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” Alfred was disappointed with what he read and concerned with how he would be remembered.

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The same kind of apocalyptic powers were ascribed to the machine gun, poison gas, and the bomber. In 1932, Stanley Baldwin wrote “the time has now come to an end when Great Britain can proceed with unilateral disarmament … the bomber will always get through.” But it remained for J. Robert Oppenheimer to put the thought in its iconic form. Looking on his own creation Oppenheimer described how he was mentally transported back to the ancient battlefields of the Bhagavad Gita to face the inevitable fruit of his inventiveness: “I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.”

That was nearly 70 years ago and the world is still here. What happened to keep it going?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
If you didn't think Obama would do any of this, you simply weren't paying attention in 2006 and 2007.

If you didn't think our government could do this, you weren't paying attention in 2001 and 2002.

For an honest student of history, the signs were obvious long before those two dates.

Now, that we're all up to our metaphorical elbows in metaphoric alligators, the only remaining question is: What are you, as an individual, willing to do fix it?

Do you truly want freedom and liberty while invoking the plain meaning of The Constitution? Or will you merely adopt and accept the present 'rule of law.'

In our present circumstances, both choices lead to death and destruction. However, one leads to freedom and the other leads to tyranny.

Which do you choose?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Snowden merely revealed a "process"; with absolutely no specific examples, names or data or places. Snowden merely introduced an important qsuestion:
Is this PRISM technology used to target, or to protect us?
Given that Snowden did this in the midst of many other scandals and in an atmosphere of corruption and malfeasance in the current administration; who in their right mind would not ask the above question and conclude that Obama has put together an organisation of people specifically tasked to gather data that will be used for targeting political dissidents? Lost in all this are the determined attempts of this administration to render the constitution neutered, and the all-out assault upon individuals and groups that call themselves conservatives; thereby paving the way for one-party power come 2014 and beyond. THAT IS THE GOAL - One party power.
The process that PRISM uses is one thing - but the reasons for the way it can be used are another. Obama is using top secret systems to gather information on every single citizen; THAT is unacceptable and downright totalitarian and an abuse of PRISM and also the court order that they are given to use it. WE truly have a bunch of thugs in this administration and it's totally embarrassing that we're so "cowardly" as to sit back and allow them to steamroll our country.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"What we had not suspected was that the Obama administration would do this."

Uhh, speak for yourself!

"Prior to Benghazi, when Obama’s reputation for honesty was relatively unscathed"

Ummm, I guess you mean among low-info voters?!

"The Founders knew this from the outset."

As have millions of Tea Partiers and other patriotic Americans since the Progressives started wreaking havoc.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
This Administration is already the Phoenix Trojan our founders warned us about without knowledge of today’s technology. Principles now involved in scandalous attacks against their own citizenry are as arrogant in their rebuke of our search for the truth as their Commander in Chief. They are not held accountable but are promoted by an in-your-face community organizer who can’t make a plea for his agenda without a plethora of victims at his side. Procuring the silence of the whores with pieces of silver is not a new model for political chicanery, but a cornerstone of the Chicago/Alinsky method. A President whose lack of moral authority should have been exposed by the revelations of Pigford, was re elected with the support of a former Adulteress in Chief. The Tyrant who comforts the Islamist’s of the Muslim Brotherhood and aids their cause with progressive political correctness ideology, called on God and the Scriptures to promote his agenda in a house of worship in Boston; and the minions that gathered there to share the pain of a Jihadist act, revered him. The Iscariot in Chief, who denied the image of Jesus for his harangue at Georgetown, sent his Imam to the funeral of Seal Team Six members killed in Afghanistan to curse them in Arabic in front of grieving family and friends who had gathered to honor those heroes. Trust in the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama was buried with Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Now, that we're all up to our metaphorical elbows in metaphoric alligators, the only remaining question is: What are you, as an individual, willing to do fix it?"

It starts by taking a public stand. Here's mine, an editorial, published in the local paper:
http://www.oleantimesherald.com/editorial/article_f7bc3df2-d183-11e2-b423-0019bb2963f4.html
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The answer, ironically, lies in corrupt, sinful, and foolish man himself."

Part of the answer--not ironically, but logically--lies in this neo-Platonist Christian view of human nature.

And the irrational mental mis-integration that relies on a' priori concepts like the evil of Man's nature, which concepts are the destroyers of *minds*.

"The primacy of consciousness religious metaphysics of Neo-Platonic Idealism (evasion), the religious epistemology of faith (emotionalism) and the ego hating Judeo-Christian ethics of self-sacrifice (rationalization) make possible the irrational politics of socialism."

Socialism then leads to totalitarianism, which people then flee to religion to avoid. (See Arab Spring)

And the whole vicious cycle repeats itself, again and again, throughout the West's--and mankind's--history.

This is why having a conservative defend capitalism and individualism (the politics of a constitutional republic founded on (selfish) individual rights) is like having Judas defend Christ before Pilate.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Snowden is accused of treason. Open violations of the constitution under the guise of statutory law are given a pass. No arrests. No indictments. No fines. A panoply of scenes from the show Password in the form of congressional investigations that go nowhere, fast. 1984 has truly come thrice; the book, the date, the destiny.
Further, no one has yet written in the body of an article or in a comment the following: the technical capability to capture all communications comes with it the ability to edit the record. People could be framed with their own documentation edited by a government that already knows no bounds but just hasn't gotten to this point yet. You could be the victim of a completely fictitious record. Sandra Bullock's "The Net" has arrived. We're so past 1984.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we have constitutional NSA programs then how do we protect ourselves from abuse as with the IRS. We have seen that the IGs in the IRS and State Department have done what they could to identify problems, but they have limited powers and are appointed by the president.

I say increase their investigative powers and change the law such that congress has to approve a firing of an IG. Obama fired 2 during his first term when his people were caught skirting/breaking the law. Everyone may have forgotten that happened during the bailouts/bankruptcy games.

The NSA needs IGs if they don't have them now with different groups within the NSA having their own IGs and having to report to the congressional intelligence committees every 6 months.

Rules on testifying before congress need to be strengthened. Lying/misleading congress should require an IG investigation and a firing is it was true. Actual perjury would require firing and jail time, as with Nixon's AG John Mitchell who got 19 months in prison. Officials should say they can't testify in open session if they don't want to answer a question that compromises national security.

We can fire people even in the unionized IRS if Section 1203 of the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, which mandates terminations of IRS employees who commit any of what are known in the Service as the 10 Deadly Sins was implemented.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you didn't think Obama would do any of this, you simply weren't paying attention in 2006 and 2007.

If you didn't think our government could do this, you weren't paying attention in 2001 and 2002.

For an honest student of history, the signs were obvious long before those two dates.

Now, that we're all up to our metaphorical elbows in metaphoric alligators, the only remaining question is: What are you, as an individual, willing to do fix it?

Do you truly want freedom and liberty while invoking the plain meaning of The Constitution? Or will you merely adopt and accept the present 'rule of law.'

In our present circumstances, both choices lead to death and destruction. However, one leads to freedom and the other leads to tyranny.

Which do you choose?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
This.

This was all predicted by the small-government people. This is what big government looks like. What did you think it would look like? Did you expect a beneficent and munificent government? I guess the answer to that is 'yes'. You sold your votes for a mess of pottage.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Snowden merely revealed a "process"; with absolutely no specific examples, names or data or places. Snowden merely introduced an important qsuestion:
Is this PRISM technology used to target, or to protect us?
Given that Snowden did this in the midst of many other scandals and in an atmosphere of corruption and malfeasance in the current administration; who in their right mind would not ask the above question and conclude that Obama has put together an organisation of people specifically tasked to gather data that will be used for targeting political dissidents? Lost in all this are the determined attempts of this administration to render the constitution neutered, and the all-out assault upon individuals and groups that call themselves conservatives; thereby paving the way for one-party power come 2014 and beyond. THAT IS THE GOAL - One party power.
The process that PRISM uses is one thing - but the reasons for the way it can be used are another. Obama is using top secret systems to gather information on every single citizen; THAT is unacceptable and downright totalitarian and an abuse of PRISM and also the court order that they are given to use it. WE truly have a bunch of thugs in this administration and it's totally embarrassing that we're so "cowardly" as to sit back and allow them to steamroll our country.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, there's no question about it! Such processes will ALWAYS be used to protect us! They would NEVER be used to target us!

And if you don't believe me, just ask any of the blind "Law And Order" crowd who always support whatever the the government wants to do in the name of keeping us safe from The Bad Guy Du Jour, whether he is a drug dealer, gang member, spy, or terrorist.

You can find them in Congress and in the rank and file. They are (usually) loyal Republicans, staunch "conservatives", who wave the flag, bleed red, white, and blue, and get angry any time some stinking hippie communist suggest that maybe we should question the government's tendency to give itself ever-increasing power.


They are not the least interested in the meaning of or rationale for the Constitution. All they care about is being against the bad guys and for the good guys, and if you question them you are a stinking hippie.



43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know what scares me most about this? That a common refrain in the gun control movement is that the police and military wouldn't participate in a violent suppression. Yet, here we have U.S. citizens spying on their own and keeping quiet about it. Openly violating the 4th without questioning the activity... for filthy luchre's sake. Don't be too sure the effectiveness of the brainwashing of the employees and contractors of the NSA won't work on the military and police.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well...who has never made an embarrassing forum post while drunk?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Perfection falls not to the share of mortals." George Washington
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I understand how you feel - it's become acceptable for even (supposedly) educated writers to drop punctuation and use poor grammar, even though they get paid for it.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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