Tokyo Damage Report

the banality of Orwellian government: a satire in two acts

Now the FBI is in the headlines trying to get the authority to warrantless wiretap citizens. And the DOJ is bugging the AP. The most SMFH thing about this is not that the government is spying on innocent citizens – we all knew that. The SMFH thing is that  even  this Brave New Cyber 1984 world is chock- full of  banal Dilbert office politics and petty infighting between agencies. Like, it’s not too oppressively Orwellian, it’s oppressively too FAMILIAR.
SCENE: WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM
FBI CHIEF: What? The NSA is monitoring everyone’s phone and email and texts? That’s fucked up Mr. President!  That is a grave injustice, Mr. President! Howcum they get to but we don’t? No fair! The NSA are just total dicks! 
NSA CHIEF:  but  the painstaking legal acrobatics of YOUR  “laughably illegal presidential authorization memo which no one is allowed to see”  authorize slightly different categories of targets than the panstaking legal acrobatics of OUR “laughably illegal presidential authorization memo which no one is allowed to see”, so it would be just TERRIBLE GOVERNMENT OVER-REACH if we let you copy any of our wiretaps.
FBI CHIEF:   You see, Mr. President? You see how he is? Some al Queda guy in a cave knows what “CONTROL+V” means but this guy doesn’t????
*DHS CHIEF ENTERS* But Daaaaddd!!! If the FBI gets to construct a totally redundant and expensive system to monitor the 90-percent-of-the-same emails that the NSA is monitoring, then we have to get our OWN redundant and expensive system! Google said it would be ok, and also FBI are just pricks!  
NSA CHIEF:   You get to do extraordinary renditions and you don’t share, and now you want to copy our thing??? Penis breath!
FBI: Anyway we thought of it first!
DHS: Liar! Butt munch!
OBAMA: Everyone shut the fuck up! Jesus, you kids! OK, you can all have your own expensive, totally redundant, incompatable, and overlapping systems to violate everyone’s civil rights. BUT, you have to subcontract the construction to a bunch of private sector scam-artists, fuckups, and cronies who will jack up the price, while storing all the people’s private data in a shoebox in the middle of the street where any 14 year old Chinese kid can hack it.
FBI: You are firm but fair, sir.


RELATED: what gets me isn’t the Orwellian descent, but the utterly childish, Asperger’s, Calvin-ball nature of the justifications:

Well, OK, the “torture” and “worldwide secret prisons” and the “read-everyone-ever’s-emails” policy and the “assassinate our own citizens based on secret evidence” dealies weren’t voted on by Congress, or, you know,  even made public at all, but it’s so totally allowed because the President paid a lawyer to come in and type up the memos with lots of “whereas”es and “aforementioned”es and “party of the first part”s.  Then we paid a second lawyer to click his heels three times and sprinkle the memos with Constitution Dust while reciting the powerful spell "OHWA TADI KAYAMM".  Did you ever see the part in the Godfather where Brando writes a memo assassinating his enemies? No? That’s because CROOKS DON’T DO THAT. Geez.
And the totally legal-because-of-jargon memos are immediately rushed to a safe in the Pentagon basement which no one is allowed to open. And the secret safe is also situated in the Time-Out Zone on the other side of Cootie City, so it's super super against the rules to even mess with it. But . . . . we printed them on real paper.  If we just copied them on a flash drive which we gave to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that would be tyranny. Duh. And of course you Glenn Greenwald types would have a point if we just printed out ONE copy.  But we printed out MULTIPLE COPIES, and put all the copies in the same safe. This isn’t fucking Syria. Plus the multiple copies are on Magic Human-Rights Paper, we’re bringing in a wizard on Tuesday to laminate them. Just to be on the safe side. We're not taking any of these steps lightly. 
But you wingnuts still aren’t satisfied? I suppose you want us to stop fluoridating the water too?  You think Hologram Tupac killed JFK with time-travel bullets?
*SIGH*
Fine, we’ll let the leaders of the Congressional counterterrorism committee read the assassination memo, but only if they don’t bring pencils, make notes, or consult their own lawyers about the constitutionality of what they read. Also they can’t read odd-numbered pages, and they have to touch the countertop three times everytime they read a verb.  We are a nation of rules and laws here.
5 comments

5 Comments so far

  1. 古山田咲郎 June 9th, 2013 12:14 am

    Great! Best one in a while.
    The NSA story is growing big in 'old Europe', too, but actually everybody here cares a fuck, because it's the big US agencies trying to get hold of our data. Apart from your argument that FBI, NSA and whoever will just undermine the others' efforts, also think of the average highly-inable beaurocrat who gets to validate and analyze all the collected data. Not gonna much happen…
    Obviously Google and Facebook themselves are the true orwellian villains. They collect the data in the first place, secretly and unchallenged by legal restictions, and then let their powerful algorithms work on it and use it for *you sure don't want to know*. Like every mail on Googlemail is automatically screened for marketing purpose? Scary.

  2. admin June 9th, 2013 4:56 pm

    @furuyama (is that how you pronounce it?) : yes and good luck with that! re: google and facebook being the true villains, . . .the worst/weirdest part of that whole thing is that ALL of their spying since the BEGINNING was for “collecting user data specifically to target advertisements to individuals better”. And yet i have yet to meet a single person who ever bought ANYTHING off of a fucking banner ad. Not saying that the whole data-collection is all a smoke-screen for a sinister conspiracy. Just suggesting that maybe Google Facebook etc. are scamming companies who pay for ads. I mean, if data collection REALLY resulted in ‘net ads being personalized, the video ads on my Daily Show broadcast would go like this: HI! I’M BRIDGET BLUHSHUSH AND THIS MONTH MTV PUSH IS YOU DON’T CARE. YOU WILL NEVER LISTEN TO MY BAND. WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE DO THAT? YOU HAVE ALREADY CLICKED OVER TO ANOTHER SITE.

    Right?

  3. Jay June 16th, 2013 8:40 pm

    LOL.  When do we get to hear your take on Abenomics?

  4. admin June 17th, 2013 9:17 am

    @jay: good question, but honestly i have no idea what Abenomics even means. My interest in Japanese politics basically stops with the “construction state” era of the ’90s (when the government would drain the peoples’ Japan Post bank accounts to pay for utterly un-necessesary shit like 10 river bridges in 5 kilometers). I know i’m not being logical to only care about ’30s fascism and “construction state” stuff, but that is just my taste. what’s YOUR take on Abenomics?

  5. 古山田咲郎 June 17th, 2013 11:45 am

    Did that "construction state era" ever stop, Steven? I have the feeling the investments were just moved from bridges to river regulation and from there to solar energy plants. Whoever just pays for Amakudari…
    As far as I know about Abenomics it is just a new term for "inflation" to fool the masses. The irony of it is the prime minister's name. 安倍 kinda means "twice as cheap", which is obviously the aim for the Yen exchange rate.

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