Just Trust Us. What Could Go Wrong?

Glenn Greenwald makes the controversial argument that the power to spy on Americans without any oversight might lead to abuses.  He cites the extensive FBI spying on Coretta Scott King after her husband’s death.

When I heard stories like this growing up (I’m around 30 now), I always thought that we had collectively learned our lesson.  Now we know that excessive government secrecy leads to abuses; now we know that getting involved in wars based on blinkered assessment of facts is dangerous.  So it won’t happen again.

Of course I was wrong, as the last few years have demonstrated.  In fact, the lesson of Vietnam and Watergate is that sometimes the government does bad things, and it must be checked by vigorous oversight from Congress and from the media.  And when that oversight is lacking, and unscrupulous men are in power, bad things ensue.


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