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#15122187
JohnRawls wrote:The governments also have a need to protect the people and the easiest way to do it is through espionage and intelligence gathering. I am pretty sure that the governments understand that they are doing illegal things but the need to protect the people overrides the need for privacy on the importance scale. So both EU and US governments are kind of in a silent understanding between the state and their intelligence services that the state won't harass the intelligence services about this and the intelligence services agree to keep it as quite as possible and out of sight.


This is interesting because it asks the question. Should we be ok with governments spying on us, so long as they ignore what they find and only act on some very limited but extremely important things that they find.

An example would be they turn up information about all the porn sites someone might visit. Sure, they have that information on you, but so long as they never ever use that information for anything, or act on it in any way.... is it ok? Of course their goal isn't to understand what sorts of porn preferences someone might have, but that's just stuff that turns up when you run a spying operation. The danger is, there's always an individual that could use that against you, even if it's not government sanctioned.

Anyway, this would require some serious trust in your government though.
#15122189
@Rancid

I don't think governments should have that ability without due process and probable cause. Our privacy matters. Anytime there is a terrorist attack or something unusual happens, governments already had plenty of laws on the books to stop such terrorist attacks, they just failed to do their job in the first place.

So, they turn around and use those terrorist attacks to justify accumulating more power at the expense of the best interests and the rights of the people they are supposed to be protecting. This is almost always done under a false pretext and as an excuse to accumulate and consolidate more power in their own hands and more control over it's people. It's not about protecting the people or protecting their rights, so much as it is about accumulating more power and control over their citizens.
#15122198
Politics_Observer wrote:@Rancid

I don't think governments should have that ability without due process and probable cause. Our privacy matters. Anytime there is a terrorist attack or something unusual happens, governments already had plenty of laws on the books to stop such terrorist attacks, they just failed to do their job in the first place.

So, they turn around and use those terrorist attacks to justify accumulating more power at the expense of the best interests and the rights of the people they are supposed to be protecting. This is almost always done under a false pretext and as an excuse to accumulate and consolidate more power in their own hands and more control over it's people. It's not about protecting the people or protecting their rights, so much as it is about accumulating more power and control over their citizens.


Shut up and trust you government! :lol:
#15122253
Politics_Observer wrote:That doesn't mean those governments aren't keeping secrets. If people don't know about it, people can't sue. Governments do keep secrets.


If you are the victim of a crime you don't know about, then you can't sue, unless you are a conspiracy theorist and sue anyways. :lol:

We are talking about violations of the law, like Polish cooperation with the CIA for extra-judicial renditions, or German violation of EU rules on air pollution along main traffic roads. These sort of things do come out and the EU does sue the national governments over these issues.

Even what the intelligence agencies do does often come out in the end. For example, in Germany, the far-left Die Linke has the right to ask the government in Parliament about secrete service activities. The government is then obliged to provide an answer. They may black-out parts that relate to the national security, but the government has to give a truthful answer. A president could never hide his tax record as in the US.
#15122256
@Rancid, @Politics_Observer

JohnRawls wrote:Regarding the government is pretty much the same as in the US. I mean if you catch the government doing it then technically it is illegal because of the rules that apply to everyone. The problem is, you know, catching the government in the act.


That is absolutely not true. I don't know about Estonia, but as I explained to @Politics_Observer, in Germany, there are opposition parties, including communists, in Parliament who have the right to make the government disclose intelligence activities. For example, a request by Die Linke in Parliament revealed that the German intelligence agency BND had cooperated with the CIA for years to spy on companies and individuals. The result was that the BND was put under closer Parliamentary scrutiny to prevent this sort of problem. I can't imagine communists in the US Congress making the US administration reveal CIA extra-judicial renditions, torture, extra-judicial drone killings, and the like. We all know that this is happening, but both Democrats and Republicans will conspire to prevent it from being prosecuted.

Thus, there can be no comparison whatsoever between the EU and the US. The EU is far more transparent than the US will ever be.

Perhaps Estonians still haven't gotten rid of their Soviet style mentality? Democracy in Eastern Europe is still in its infancy.
#15122271
Atlantis wrote:@Rancid, @Politics_Observer



That is absolutely not true. I don't know about Estonia, but as I explained to @Politics_Observer, in Germany, there are opposition parties, including communists, in Parliament who have the right to make the government disclose intelligence activities. For example, a request by Die Linke in Parliament revealed that the German intelligence agency BND had cooperated with the CIA for years to spy on companies and individuals. The result was that the BND was put under closer Parliamentary scrutiny to prevent this sort of problem. I can't imagine communists in the US Congress making the US administration reveal CIA extra-judicial renditions, torture, extra-judicial drone killings, and the like. We all know that this is happening, but both Democrats and Republicans will conspire to prevent it from being prosecuted.

Thus, there can be no comparison whatsoever between the EU and the US. The EU is far more transparent than the US will ever be.

Perhaps Estonians still haven't gotten rid of their Soviet style mentality? Democracy in Eastern Europe is still in its infancy.


No, it is exactly the same as in Germany. The problem is that nobody is really interested in exersizing these powers without their being a public outcry. Which I mentioned. As long as the situation is quite and out of sight then nobody will know or disturb the intelligence services. But once there is an outcry of course there are investigations and so on. The CIA prisons situation was handeled the same in the Baltic. The problem is that god knows who knew about it before it became a scandal. It also begs the question, if there are no scandals right now, are the inteligence services not doing things like this anymore OR they just became really good at keeping it out of publics eyes.

Unless some kind of yearly review or a review every 5 years lets say is done and implemented then this is just talk. I don't see how our situation is any different from US in this regard.
#15122286
@Atlantis

Ohhh the moral superiority coming out of you. It's terribly naive and arrogant of you to think your government is any different than anybody elses. Intelligence agencies are intelligence agencies and are always looking for ways around all the laws so that they can do their job, which is essentially to spy and serve the interests of those in government. Don't think governments can't lie. Governments lie all the time. That's just not only here in the U.S. but everywhere. It's the nature of governments.
Last edited by Politics_Observer on 23 Sep 2020 16:02, edited 1 time in total.
#15122287
Politics_Observer wrote:@Atlantis

Ohhh the moral superiority coming out of you. It's terribly naive and arrogant of you to think your government is any different than anybody elses. Intelligence agencies are intelligence agencies and are always looking for ways around all the laws so that they can do their job, which is essentially to spy and serve the interests of those in government. Don't think governments can lie. Governments lie all the time. That's just not only here in the U.S. but everywhere. It's the nature of governments.


It's a kind of European exceptionalism that he believes in.
#15122337
@Politics_Observer, @Rancid, the empire is evil prove me wrong!

Prove that the EU secretly tortures people, prove that the EU executes extra-judicial drone killings, prove that the EU shits on international law as the US does, prove that the EU systematically suppresses social justice and pampers the oligarchs as the US, prove that the EU illegally topples foreign governments and invades foreign countries as the US ...

You cannot do that. You, the lackeys of imperialism, have to maintain the illusion that everybody is as evil as you are. That's the only way you can look yourself in the mirror in the morning.

No, imperialism is not normal. It's excessive greed that destroys this planet and everything on it. Open your eyes. An alternative is possible even if you are in denial. The moral superiority is your projection. It has nothing to do with me. I show you that a better way is possible and that your cynicism is baseless.
#15122341
@Rancid

Yes, I thought the same thing. It seems he had to bring the U.S. into this because of this sense of moral superiority.

@Atlantis

Atlantis wrote:Prove that the EU secretly tortures people, prove that the EU executes extra-judicial drone killings, prove that the EU shits on international law as the US does, prove that the EU systematically suppresses social justice and pampers the oligarchs as the US, prove that the EU illegally topples foreign governments and invades foreign countries as the US ...


There is no need to prove anything to you in order to make my point. The fact of the matter is your government like ours or anybody else's are not moral agents. The nature of governments is about power. Secrecy is essential to maintaining power. Hence, every government has secrets and will guard those secrets fiercely. Don't be naive and think your government is any different than anybody else's in this respect.
#15122368
@Politics_Observer, I didn't say that Europeans are morally superior. There are just as many idiots in Europe as there are in America. The difference is that the US pursues imperialistic policies with all the nastiness that implies and the EU does not.

That is blindingly obvious. And I don't know what you are on about.

It has nothing to do with human morality. It has to do with what imperial America is designed to do.

That is why we need the EU to protect us from the US stealing our data and abusing our rights. That is important for Europeans, but it is also important for the rest of humanity because there is nobody aside from EU big enough to stand up against US bullying. And we certainly cannot rely on Russia or China to defend our rights.
#15122373
@Atlantis

Atlantis wrote:And I don't know what you are on about.


What do you mean you don't know what I am on about? Of course, you know what I am on about. You're not stupid. You are perfectly capable of understanding that government, ANY government, NO MATTER WHERE IT LOCATED ON THE GLOBAL MAP is about power and NOT morality. And secrecy serves to enhance the power of governments.

Hence, every government has secrets because it is only natural they would want to enhance their power given that is what government is about: power. Also, we were talking about the governments in the EU and not about the U.S. government. YOU felt the need, for some reason, to bring the U.S. into this discussion. Which makes me think you have an axe to grind with the U.S. If you have an axe to grind with the U.S. then that's an entirely different topic that we were not discussing.
#15122374
@Politics_Observer, I didn't bring the US into this. Others who claimed that the EU was just like the US brought the US into this. I'm just stating that this is totally false.

I have an ax to grind with imperial aggression. That's why I oppose US imperialism. If you support US imperialism either actively or by belittling the death and terror the US brings to the world, or by claiming the all countries are like the US, then you are nothing but an imperialist lackey and I do have an ax to grind with you.
#15122431
@Atlantis

Atlantis wrote:I have an ax to grind with imperial aggression. That's why I oppose US imperialism. If you support US imperialism either actively or by belittling the death and terror the US brings to the world, or by claiming the all countries are like the US, then you are nothing but an imperialist lackey and I do have an ax to grind with you.


I am very proud to be an American and I don't apologize for it. I joined my country's army when I was younger because I love my home and my community. I still do and always will. Now, when I was a professional soldier, my job was to follow orders and do as I was told so long as those orders did not violate the laws of war or the Geneva Conventions. It wasn't my job to decide policy or to wrestle with moral questions about the morality of a war I was ordered into. The safety and well being of my country cannot afford to have soldiers who do not follow the lawful orders given to them.

My job was to follow orders and do as I was told (and again, so long as those orders did not violate the laws of war or the Geneva Convention). I wasn't somebody who had power and my community needs an army to protect it too. I am not going to leave my community or my country to the wolves that are out there in the world. If you have an axe to grind, grind it with those who are in power and not somebody like me who doesn't hold any real power. I am just a common man and I am not going to abandon my community or my home.
#15122522
@Politics_Observer, Americans have a mental disconnect between the nice-guy image they have of themselves and the imperialist pigs who commit crimes against humanity. Who is committing the crimes in the name of America if Americans are not responsible? Of course Americans are responsible. You are responsible for toppling democratic regimes in Iran, Chile and many other places. You are responsible for dropping Napalm on civilians. You are responsible for extra-judicial renditions, torture and extra-judicial killings. You are responsible for your illegal wars in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. You are responsible for the bullying, the economic strangling of other people, the political blackmail and coercion committed by your elected government in your name on a daily basis.

You are fully responsible for all this and more.

And yes, this is exactly the topic of this thread. The financial and digital control by US corporations like FaceBook, the mass observation by your secrete services, the massive theft of the world's data. You are responsible. And yes, it is in your economic interest, because like all imperialists, Americans can only make a living by killing and looting.

Unless you explicitly oppose US imperialism, you are responsible for the crimes committed in your name.

The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests. - Charley Reese


As much as we may despise Trump, at least he has the advantage of revealing the real America to the world.

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#15122586
@Atlantis

I'm sticking by my country (the US). I don't like Trump, but I am still going to fight for and protect my country. Being called names like "imperialist lackey" or "war criminal" by the enemies of my country comes with the territory of being a soldier and doesn't faze me in the least bit.
#15122633
@Politics_Observer, since you are an unrepentant imperialist, you can't be an "imperialist lackey". So, I guess, we at least know where we stand. Just don't pretend that the crimes of the US killing millions in illegal operations and making tens of millions home-less is not your responsibility. Also don't act surprised when people want to kill you because you have killed those who were most dear to them. I'm against all forms of violence, but one can't really condemn people for defending their homeland against US imperialism.
#15122681
@Atlantis

I am not afraid and I am willing to do what is necessary to defend myself and my country. I do not like violence either, however, when the time comes when extremists crash planes into buildings of my countrymen and threaten our homeland, then I also have to pick up a weapon too to defend my people and myself in my country's army to fight for my home and family too. Remember, we are prepared to fight, Atlantis, to defend our country and our home.
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