In “progressive” America, civil liberties involve generally upper class white men and civil rights are “yes but” afterthoughts. The Ferguson Missouri police department which supports itself with systematic theft from poor people in the guise of fees and traffic tickets kills an unarmed black teenager and responds to citizen protest with teargass, pepper spray, rubber bullets, armored cars and snipers menacing dissidents. This is business as usual for America’s police who are, every single day, jailing and beating or killing citizens who won’t “comply” fast enough. Deference is mandatory. Yet the focus of America’s elite left is on the National Security Agency snooping through telephone records and similar esoterics. Henry Farrell’s contribution to breathless Glenn Greenwald fan fiction is a great recent example.
IT IS strange that the Obama administration has so avidly continued many of the national-security policies that the George W. Bush administration endorsed. [..] The result is a remarkable degree of continuity between the two administrations.
The George W. Bush administration claimed that it could torture and disappear anyone it wanted to, it kidnapped at least one American citizen on US soil, denied him legal counsel, and tortured him into catatonia, it operated internment camps in New Orleans and sent Blackwater militia onto the streets armed with machine guns, it lied the nation into war and then imprisoned US soldiers with a “stop loss” indefinite enlistment, it operated a hysteria inducing color coded alert system that went into red alert state anytime the press needed to be guided more forcefully than usual, and operated wholesale torture camps in Iraq and Afghanistan and stopped the investigation into Abu Ghraib with a few token low level prosecutions, but, yeah, there is a remarkable degree of continuity if you are a fucking idiot or an ideologue with a story to tell.
At some point shortly after the end of the Second World War, democracy reached its apex in countries such as Britain and the US - Henry Farrell.
Oh those good old days before the civil rights movement, before feminism, before Stonewall, back when police murder of a black kid was not something that would cause all this unseemly protest that distracts from “understanding the actual challenge that Greenwald and Snowden pose to American politics. ”