Video: NSA spying justified as preventing terrorism, when it is the administration’s policies that are ensuring terrorism.
If ever you accused Barack Obama of fearing to offend or suffering from lack of spine, you have to hand it to him now: President Obama is acting more and more like a leader every day, one specific leader in fact: George W. Bush.
Take the recent disclosures about the National Security Agency’s massive spying on the world. The data dragnet mimics the worst of the Bush administration.
It’s hypocritical in the extreme to gather data in the name of preventing terrorism while the administration’s own policies are creating terrorism around the world, says MIT professor emeritus, Noam Chomsky in this GRITtv exclusive interview.
Published on Jun 19, 2013
Continuing his streak of fiercely criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy and civil liberties record, pre-eminent left-wing scholar Noam Chomsky told GRITtv that this administration is “dedicated to increasing terrorism” throughout the world via its own “terrorist” drone strikes in foreign lands. Speaking with GRITtv host Laura Flanders about the National Security Agency snooping scandal, Chomsky remarked that “the Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism; it’s doing it all over the world.”
He continued: “Obama is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history: the drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it […] All of these operations, they are terror operations.” Drone strikes are “terror” because, Chomsky said, the attacks have the effect of “terrorizing” locals.”
“You are generating more terrorist operations,” Chomsky pointedly said. “People have a reaction” when they lose a loved one to an American drone strike, he added. “They don’t say, ‘Fine, I don’t care if my cousin was murdered.’ They become what we call terrorists. This is completely understood from the highest level.”
He recalled the recent congressional testimony of a Yemeni man named Farea al-Muslimi, who described how a single drone strike managed to “radicalize” his entire village against the United States.
“People hate the country that’s just terrorizing them,” Chomsky concluded. That’s not a surprise. Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That’s the way other people react to acts of terror.”
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Noam Chomsky: American Government and Corporations Are at War With the American People
The actions of the US government in spying on its and other countries’ citizens have been sharply criticised by Noam Chomsky, the prominent political thinker, as attacks on democracy and the people.
“Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – which is their own population,” he told the Guardian.
In his first public comment on the scandal that has enveloped the US, UK and other governments, as well as internet companies such as Google and Microsoft, Chomsky said he was not overly surprised technology and corporations were being used in this way.
“This is obviously something that should not be done. But it is a little difficult to be too surprised by it,” he said. “They [governments and corporations] take whatever is available, and in no time it is being used against us, the population. Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich.”
Chomsky, who has strongly supported the Occupy movement and spoken out against the Obama administration‘s use of drones, warned that young people were much less shocked at being spied on and did not view it as such a problem.
“Polls in the US indicate there is generational issue here that someone ought to look into – my impression is that younger people are less offended by this than the older generation. It may have to do with the exhibitionist character of the internet culture, with Facebook and so on,” he said. “On the internet, you think everything is going to be public.”
Other technologies could also come to be used to spy more effectively on people, he added. “They don’t want people to know what they’re doing. They want to be able to use [new technology] against their own people.
“Take a look at drones, and what is developing. You will find new drone technology being used in 10 or 12 years from now. They are looking at [trying to make] tiny drones that can go in your living room, like a fly on the wall.”
He praised the Guardian’s revelations about the activities of the National Security Agency, and the whistleblower Ed Snowden, who has been taking refuge in Hong Kong. “We need this kind [of journalism],” he said. “We ought to know about it.”
Chomsky, a much-lauded academic and professor of linguistics, gained renown as a political critic when he vocally opposed the Vietnam war. Since then, he has written dozens of books on political power, capitalism and democracy and espoused a variety of activist campaigns, most recently the Occupy movement.