Daniel Ellsberg and Rush Limbaugh come at the Obama administration’s actions from different perspectives but they ultimately agree: The Obama government has staged or is staging a form of coup against the American people. Ellsberg believes the evidence for such a coup rests in the Edward Snowden leak of the NSA’s PRISM program. Limbaugh began to arrive at the conclusion that we’ve suffered a coup after the IRS abuse scandal broke, and PRISM locked him in:
We got the IRS starting in 2010 taking action to suppress the political involvement and ultimately votes of Tea Party people and conservative Republicans. This regime, this government, on the orders of the highest level. In fact, that investigation is ongoing. We have Fast and Furious. We have Obamacare. The evidence of the totalitarian nature or the authoritarian nature of this administration is on display undeniably every day and yet in the midst of this, “Well, don’t go off half cocked on this, Rush. Be very levelheaded. Nothing really to see,” as though there’s no context here.
There may be another way of looking at what’s happening. “Coup” implies a hostile takeover. Obama was already president when he took the actions that Ellsberg and Limbaugh describe as a “coup.” Whatever can be said of Obama’s election and re-election, he obtained the majority of the votes. The question is, how did he get them, and are all of them even legitimate votes? Relatedly, did he or his government take any action to suppress his legitimate opposition?
Hackers may or may not take over systems they hack, and may or may not have ill intent. Some hackers claim to be “white hats,” and only do what they do to point out to computer and software makers that their systems have holes that need to be plugged. Other “black hat” hackers hack systems to use them for illicit purposes. Gray hats like Anonymous seem to straddle both sides at times. Whatever their individual methods and purposes may be, hackers all have one thing in common. They identify and exploit their target system’s vulnerabilities. Some hacking is good, such as the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But what if someone turned a Stuxnet-style full spectrum hack against the American people?
Let’s look back at how Barack Obama may have exploited our constitutional system’s vulnerabilities.