Friday, June 5

Liberal Police State: The British Prime Minister's Terrifying Statement

From Edward Snowden's June 4 op-ed in The New York Times (Edward Snowden:  The World Says No to Surveillance):
Spymasters in Australia, Canada and France have exploited recent tragedies to seek intrusive new powers despite evidence such programs would not have prevented attacks.
Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain recently mused, “Do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read?” He soon found his answer, proclaiming that “for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: As long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.”
I find Cameron's remarks terrifying because they dispense with the mask of liberality that the modern British government has always worn.  They're not even bothering anymore to keep up a pretense, and in this case pretense has always counted.  Everyone knows the British and other liberal democracies have been more intrusive than they've admitted to the public. But keeping up a pretense is a tacit acknowledgement that while principles have been betrayed at least there is clear awareness of principles and the concept of betrayal.

The clear awareness is now clearly out the window in the United Kingdom -- replaced by the Obama Administration's then Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's infamous doctrine:  A government should use a crisis to impose an agenda it couldn't impose before:

So we find that a completely nonsensical "war on terror" is endless and that an endless war provides democratically-elected governments endless opportunities to kick the struts from every principle girding democracy.

The topper is that David Cameron couldn't resist insulting the intelligence of the most informed among the British public. Here's an informed history of the terrorist threat, the short version:

For decades the British government pandered to the Pakistani and Saudi governments and fooled around with Chechens.  For decades the American government pandered to the Pakistani and Saudi governments and fooled around with Chechens.

And when it all blew up -- well, no alternative except endless war.

The British and American governments would be funny if they didn't have standing armies at their backs.

But they do.


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