The total surveillance state is now complete. Knowledge is power. Information, no matter how many gazillions of bytes stored, is readily turned into knowledge. There is no one, absolutely no one, including Presidents that does not now have every digital footprint that they ever make and likely have ever made, in any form whatsoever stored and available to be used by an all powerful bureaucratic elite. Power corrupts and for certain, absolute power does corrupt more pervasively, more rapidly and more dangerously. There is virtually no stopping what is happening in America as everyone of us can now be turned into a slave of the hidden powers and of the State. As it is virtually impossible that there is a Congressman or Senator or any other even reasonably powerful player in the decadent former swamp we have as our nation’s capital that is without sin, who could possibly throw the first stone?
Democrats and a handful of Republicans who supported the measure failed to secure the 60 votes they needed to take up the legislation. The vote was 58 to 42 for consideration.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who drafted the bill, blamed what he said was fear-mongering by the bill’s opponents for its defeat. “Fomenting fear stifles serious debate and constructive solutions,” he said. “This nation deserves more than that.”
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, worked hard to defeat the bill, which had the support of the Obama administration and a coalition of technology companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
“This is the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our backs,” Mr. McConnell said before the vote, expressing the concerns of those who argued that the program was a vital tool in the fight against terrorism.
The CIA Won the Midterm Elections
The wheels up party is a venerable CIA tradition, normally celebrated at overseas stations when a particularly incompetent Chief of Station or a hostile ambassador was in the process of permanently leaving post. The drinking would begin at a time estimated to coincide with the moment when the dearly departed’s aircraft lifted off from the tarmac on its way to Washington.
Wheels ups are rarer at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., though celebrations were reported when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980; but as a number of senior officers in the Agency actually had a hand in that development, there was probably a measure of self-congratulation at a job well done.