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comment by OftenBen

Yes, in an ideal community, with no malefactors, that's true. But our government is sick. And while we pursue non-violent methods of correcting it's illness (I recently got involved with the WOLF-PAC for example) I personally believe that we need to expel those sections of government that have become detrimental to public interest, and we need to do so in such a way that those who would fill their shoes might think twice before committing the same error. When a persons life is literally on the line, they tend to think a little clearer, or at least more cautiously.





mk  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Putting someone's life on the line means giving someone else the ability to decide who dies. I don't trust any group of people enough to make that decision, and even if I did, I wouldn't have faith that they wouldn't lose it over time.

Even when it is clear who did the wrong, it is not so clear why the individual did, and from where the directive and pressures came. IMO systemic problems are rarely corrected by making an example of offenders. Often, offenders are simply the most vulnerable within the corrupt system, and their fate does not powerfully influence the nature of it. When the Mob wants a strip club blown up, they pick a lackey, and put him in a position where he can't say no. The Mob operates under the assumption that the lackey is likely to get caught and punished.

The CIA recommends that operatives get insurance for when they might get pinned for something that the CIA is not willing to admit that they directed the operative to do.

OftenBen  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Putting someone's life on the line means giving someone else the ability to decide who dies. I don't trust any group of people enough to make that decision, and even if I did, I wouldn't have faith that they wouldn't lose it over time.

... Strong point, and I agree.

    The CIA recommends that operatives get insurance for when they might get pinned for something that the CIA is not willing to admit that they directed the operative to do.

That's really really scary.

mk  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That's really really scary.

No kidding, eh? That suggests that SOP is working outside of their SOP. I have little doubt that the NSA doesn't play the same game.

OftenBen  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So who do we trust to axe them a question? (Sarcasm, but only partially)

Are our only two options democratic reform, proven to be slow and ineffectual at best, or The Reign of Terror?

mk  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't know. Hopefully the Reign of Terror happens two doors down, and your leaders take the hint.

IMO the RoT is most likely when the system is no longer able to bend, and only breaks. To me, the most worrisome developments in the US aren't so much the policies that I don't like, but changes that prevent grass-root pressures from inducing those changes. The consolidation of media (due to the erosion of media market regulations), and the unfettered influence of money in legislation (i.e. Citizen's United), are the disease. I doesn't matter much if the symptoms agree or disagree with my politics when my politics were never considered. That's the ongoing folly of the American Right.

crafty  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy

I agree, it is very frustrating to see institutions stiffen with regards to grassroots pressures, but I think the ability for America to undergo peaceful revolution is still very much alive, even if it's perhaps diminished by the efforts of certain groups. I think it is important not to get caught up in the hyperbolic echo chamber with ideas like "There is nothing we can do!" or "It's time to behead them all!" What I try to do is really understand what is going on, staying factual and objective, and try to educate others about what's happening, so when the call to arms for a peaceful revolution does come around again (it has in the past, and I suspect it will happen again) there are the peaceful revolutionaries ready to take up the mantle for the right purposes and to the right ends.

thenewgreen  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well said. After reading this article, I came away rather encouraged. It seems to me that the judicial system, and the rule of law worked in this case. The federal government attempted something and the Judiciary branch didn't allow it. That's awesome! Does it suck that the federal government seems to have intentionally tried to obstruct the process? Yes. But because of our system, and balance of powers they were not able to do so. At least that's how I read it.

Moreover, here we are on an Internet forum discussing it, out in the open, that's powerful stuff and proof to me that we still live in a very free society.

As for suggesting that people be executed… Well, that's just silly.

OftenBen  ·  3635 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It worked in this case, because the particular part of the judiciary branch was opposed. They can become complicit too. If you haven't noticed, we actually do have secret courts in this country. And they aren't going anywhere any time soon.

Yes, your interpretation is how that article should be read. It's the most optimistic and reasonable way to do so. However

    Moreover, here we are on an Internet forum discussing it, out in the open, that's powerful stuff and proof to me that we still live in a very free society.

That's not a particularly compelling argument because everything we say is recorded, collated, codified, and stored to be used against us should it become necessary or convenient. Those in power have learned that they must grasp the reigns lightly, or the horse will buck. They save the crop for sharp, irresistible changes (Citizens United).

    As for suggesting that people be executed… Well, that's just silly.

It was the late night rage talking mostly. I don't see justice being meted out to those who break both the spirit and letter of the law.