Monday, July 01, 2013

Democracy Evolutions: Julian Assange on Secret Courts

illustration: finn harvor see circle 2013
Assange via a report by Dylan Stableford: "We have secret interpretations of the law," Assange said from the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where he has been living for over a year. "What does the law mean if there are secret interpretations in secret courts?"
[Snowden] has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications, far beyond anything that happened under Nixon,"
The reference to Nixon is an interesting one, because it highlights the degree to which Nixon's paranoia led him to try and create an "election fixing machine", and who also countenanced massive domestic surveillance under J. Edgar Hoover. (One small example of this is an interview conducted by Jeffrey Williams with the academic J. Hillis Miller; in the interview, Miller, then a young professor, was told by his students he was being spied upon -- he dismissed this warning as unfounded gossip and later discovered he was wrong. There are countless other similar stories). 
Nixon was certainly not the first politician to attempt to warp the democratic process, but he was one of the first to have access to modern recording technologies, and also one of the first who psychological pathology was so intense that he felt driven to fix elections that he was already likely to win. 
Is there a parallel between then and now? Are our leaders and their surveillance organizations spying with no clear sense of what they are spying for, apart from an omnivorous need to Know?

1 comment:

  1. Nixon was small time compared to this stuff. But the goal posts have moved and no one seems to care...