09 October 2008

Should I be surprised?

Here is an interesting tidbit I read in the news tonight:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/09/spying.on.americans/index.html

(CNN article: eavesdropping on troops calls home)

This had me wondering, "Hmm... what did I say on those late night calls home to M?" I wonder if there was some bleary-eyed worker on the line with us, silently taking in the contents of the conversation. What did they think? Maybe they were touched by how much we missed each other, or how much I wanted to be home. Or they might have just thought I was whining. Perhaps it was just boring mind-numbing static, after having listened to so many troops that just said minor variations on the same themes.

I would like to listen to a recording of myself from my time on deployment. I wonder if I would recognize the tired lonely airman on the line. That time seems centuries away as I sit here in the comfort of my home, basking in the love of my family. Still, little things like a funny smell, a few words of Arabic in the supermarket, or a column of smoke in the sky can bring it rushing it back. I'll bet hearing that deployment me on the line would bring back every nuance of the memory.

Well, not much use in dwelling on things past. More important to focus on the 144,000 troops still over there. Let's make sure the whole nation is listening for anyway we can help them and their families back home.

9 comments:

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

James Madison, our 4th President and father of the Constitution, long ago said, "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy".

The Iraq war, the so called "Patriot" Act, and in fact, the entire Bush Administration, have mocked the Constitutional foundation of this country and been throwbacks to a time long thought to have passed. Civil rights? Those must be laid down for good of the country (That's the PATRIOTIC thing to do). Checks and balances? The President now has the right to tell his aides they don't have to testify when subpoenaed by Congress. Who'd have thought? The Executive Branch, in the past 8 years, has been more dictatorial than any in this century and possibly the history of the USA, fraudulently starting war and disillusioning American citizens with faulty intelligence for its own hidden agenda - preventing any investigation or examination of its actions and policies and proclaiming that the President, his aides and the aides to his aides answer to no one.

The worst part is - by and large America doesn't know and/or doesn't care.
God help us all.

Jake Stravinski said...

When you join the military, you waive all rights. Sort of like a prisoner in jail, and the guards searching the cake for the file. Most people are unaware of this and think that soldiers are US citizens that have the same privileges that they are fighting to uphold. Well, surprise, that isn't the way it is. Just be glad that someone is out fighting for your rights, and stop whining.

David said...

The web of power and influence associated with the Bush administration is so vast that I do not believe any of us should be surprised at all. The events of the last 8 years were premeditated, and executed with military precision. May we live long enough to see some accountability for the actions of these criminals. God help us.

Rich in Jacksonville said...

I do not know what the big fuss is about. A veteran of both Iraq and Afganistan we are told about the survellance. It is part of your brief when you get to your base. They even monitor computer traffic. If you are forewarned about the survellance, then it is the problem of the individual if they go a little too far with their private lives. The military has always intercepted coorespondence home. They say it is for our protection wich I beleive because there are people out there (no matter how much you tell them) that will tell thier families troop movements, missions, and locations.

Eric said...

To hear someone make a blanket statement such as "you waive all rights" when talking about joining the military shows just how disillusioned we truly are. Firstly, that is a flat out lie, Jake Stravinski. You do not waive all rights when you join the military - and while that's obviously what you believe let me assure you that does not make it true. Secondly, millions of lives have been lost to protect the freedoms that this country was founded on - freedoms that should not be taken lightly or handed over easily. You might as well go spit on the graves of everyone who has died to protect those freedoms while you casually endorse their demise. It amazes me to no end that people serving in the military or "supporting" the military are often the first to blindly hand over their civil rights when in truth they were intended to defend them. I suppose it really shouldn't surprise anyone though - the military responds to a commander in chief and is funded by a government that is more out of touch with the people and more corrupt that any American, alive or dead, has ever seen.

Beware how easily you hand over the rights Americans died to ensure you retained.

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. " - James Madison

Chris said...

Dear Eric, Jake, David, and Rich,

Thank you very much for reading, and appreciate your viewpoints.

Jake, I see it a little differently, No one, not even a troop, can waive their inalienable rights; I "hold these truths to be self-evident", to borrow from a much sager source than me. But in taking my oath of office to defend the Constitution, I did commit myself to an increased level of duty, including some inconvieniences such as not choosing which wars I would participate in and having a third party on the line when I talk to my sweetheart. I will ask you if you think all those sweethearts back home waived their right to privacy when they chose to love a troop? I value your opinion whether you are troop, US civilian, or otherwise, but I'm curious to know if you are one of "my fellow prisoners"? By the way, when I whine I sound like this: "I wish the insurgents would stop blowing up children and I wish I had more supplies to treat their burns."

Eric, I too fear any encroachments on our freedom. In fact, I've sworn to defend them! It's not like I'm living in a cabin in Montana or anything, but I do wonder if next year we will be fighting "Oceana or Eastasia"

David, history will judge us, just as it has our forbears. Interesting to read the recent interview with "Curveball."

Rich, thank you for your service, Sir. You are 100% correct about all communication being monitored. I think that it is important to note that our enemy seems to have an excellent handle on Internet based SIGINT, where we may be a bit loose in our discipline. However, an increasing number of generals have stated that blogs and on-the-ground communications have helped to portray the US troop as a more humanistic agent of good, and go a long way toward combatting negative portrayals circulated by our enemy.

Again, thanks for visiting!

Chris

madtom said...

To my mind, you should have access to anything the government collected on you. You should file Freedom of Information request.

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