Noam Chomsky on being a subject of the national surveillance state

I have two pieces in mind and left to do before I leave the subject of the National Spook State, at least for now.

One is a demonstration of how metadata could have found Paul Revere, by name. Yes, folks. Metadata is not opaque. More like a window with your name on it.

Writer Noam Chomsky

Writer Noam Chomsky

The other is an interview of Noam Chomsky regarding his CIA (note, not FBI; CIA) file finally being released to him.

Please listen. This is about how the muscular spook state (because all us Americans are muscular, or desperately need to be seen so) dealt with resistance in the 1960s, including the death (some say “murder”) of Illinois Black Panther leader Fred Hampton.

Did you note that in the interview, Chomsky calls Hampton’s death “murder”? I don’t have much to add. Just, please listen if you haven’t already.

Previous episodes in the “Do You Really Trust Daddy?” series includes these pieces:

How can NSA data be used corruptly? Let’s count the ways.
■ Is the intelligence community running America?

This is a third in the set. Thanks for your attention to this issue.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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25 Responses to “Noam Chomsky on being a subject of the national surveillance state”

  1. GaiusPublius says:

    Would love to see a link. Thanks!


  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    Wow. Of course it was a failed attempt to attack ideas. “When you say “the growing union left”, are you saying that labor unions are intrinsically politically leftist and that membership is growing, or that union members are increasingly leftist? Or maybe something else?” But keep trying.

  3. perljammer says:

    Wow. It was just a question, not an attempt to attack any ideas.

    In an attempt to end this on a humorous note … I’m sure the original authors of these newspaper headlines thought their meanings were clear:

  4. Bill_Perdue says:

    It was clear from the beginning. You were looking for an opening to attack the idea that unions are moving left and you failed. “When you say “the growing union left”, are you saying that labor unions are intrinsically politically leftist and that membership is growing, or that union members are increasingly leftist? Or maybe something else?” But keep trying.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    Hi, QS.

  6. perljammer says:

    “The meaning of the phrase is that the left is growing in the trade union movement”

    Thanks. It really didn’t have to be so difficult.

  7. lurker says:

    the guy is only asking for a clarification, jesus. fuck your comments if you’re just going to be an asshole.

  8. NfromChicago says:

    Fyi, the death of Fred Hampton is unambiguously murder. A court decided on the matter and FBI files from the COINTELPRO project confirmed this. There is plenty of published material on his murder, including Jeffrey Haas’s book The Assassination of Fred Hampton, 2009.

    If you think about it, it’s pretty astonishing that Americans don’t know about this or about COINTELPRO. Everybody knows about the Gestapo, about Stalinism, and the persecution of dissidents abroad. But when our own state sets up a Gestapo-like organization and murders domestic dissidents, it remains in the dark.

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    You still don’t get it. So lets try one last time. The first word in the phrase is growing, which we’ve established as meaning “become larger or greater over a period of time; increase.”

    It modifies the second word in the phrase which is union, or labor union.

    The third work is left, identified as the left, or left-wing or leftist which are generally used to describe support for social changes to create a more egalitarian society.

    The meaning of the phrase is that the left is growing in the trade union movement.

    At no point does that phrase indicate that I think or contend that the trade union movement is experiencing significant growth, although that, given the union efforts in box box retailers and fast food workers, could occur any time now.

  10. perljammer says:

    Thanks for the condescension. I’m familiar with the meanings of the individual words; my “odd” curiosity was with respect to what you – not Webster – mean when you combine them in that order. I suffer neither bewilderment nor confusion; I simply asked for a definition of a term. Whether you want to believe it or not, it’s quite common for a writer to believe that his meaning is plain, when it is in fact a wee bit obscure. If your intent of your posts is to clearly state your position, then you shouldn’t mind a question or two now and then. On the other hand, if you’re just here to rant, that’s a different story.

    The reason I asked was because union membership in the US has declined rather sharply over the past 30 years, and I wondered if you had data to support a belief that a reversal of that trend was at hand.

  11. karmanot says:

    That you think Skinner is any thing less than a social Darwinist behavioral quack, invalidates any further conjectures you might want to posit.

  12. karmanot says:

    “Are we witnessing the passing of greed & lawlessness?” I’m afraid not Dr., it’s only the beginning.

  13. Whitewitch says:

    Than once again we do agree, as we often do. I don’t believe he should be sentenced to death, simply because I don’t believe that anyone, anywhere should be sentenced to death. LIfe imprisonment would be fair. We need to work to stop the death penalty anywhere, since it is true that minorities and those who “society” (and I use that term loosely) find repugnant by their inability to finance a defense are the people generally sentenced to death.

    I stand corrected and apologize for misreading your statement.

  14. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sorry for the double pics, disqus was down for a while and repeated my post but it saved the original pics.

  15. Whitewitch says:

    Nope not what I am saying at all. I am simply saying that Dr. Hassan is an American. Whether his faith is Muslin is solely his knowing…not mine. He murdered men who served with him and for that he is wrong and should be punished. There is nothing that justifies killing others, in my book. I don’t believe he should be killed either – since I don’t believe in killing others. Simple…I saw nothing “racist” in his trial, he sought to defend himself and admitted that he did indeed shoot the men whom it is claimed he shot. That is against the law, regardless of what your religion is.

  16. Bill_Perdue says:

    Read my comment again. I said his sentence was racist.

    Hasan was guilty of murdering unarmed soldiers. He’ll be punished.

    No one deserves the death penalty more than Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pled guilty to slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians inside their homes, many of them children who were burned ho and who was sentenced to spend with no chance of parole.

    During the Vietnam war the officer who ordered the murder of dozens of Vietnamese civilians. William Calley, was sentenced to life imprisonment and hard labor at Fort Leavenworth. “On April 1, 1971, only a day after Calley was sentenced, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered him transferred from Leavenworth prison to house arrest at Fort Benning. Ultimately, Calley served only three and a half years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning. He petitioned the federal district court for habeas corpus on February 11, 1974, which was granted on September 25, 1974, along with his immediate release, by federal judge J. Robert Elliott.” Wiki

    Mass murderers only get off scott free if they’re named Nixon, Clinton, Obama, Calley or Bales.

  17. DrDignity says:

    Bravo, Gaius & Professor Chomsky! People like you will keep hope alive as Big Brother tries to assume more power. Still, we are also witnessing more consciousness as only 9 % polled want to use arms in Syria. Are we witnessing the passing of greed & lawlessness?

  18. goulo says:

    If that’s all you know about him (not even knowing his first name – it’s Noam, not Norm), then I recommend actually reading some of his political analyses, which has nothing to do with whatever effects he allegedly had on special education…

    The book Imperial Ambitions (I’m currently in the middle of it) is well worth reading, for example.

  19. goulo says:

    “the fact that he proclaims himself to be muslin, although he is actually an American, born and raised in America.”

    What does that even mean? Are you saying that being Muslim and being born and raised in America are somehow mutually exclusive?

  20. Whitewitch says:

    So you think that Nidal Hassan’s trial and sentence are racist. Is it that he killed other men over his spiritual belief or just the fact that he proclaims himself to be muslin, although he is actually an American, born and raised in America. I usually find your posts most interesting. This one however with its reference to Hassan not so much.

  21. Dan Corjulo says:

    All I know is Norm did more damage to special education with his completely nonsense, un-scientific theories on language development. As more and more of his theories are proven wrong, and more and more of BF Skinner work is proven right (Norm hated Skinner) the man its more and more paranoid and angry. And what do you mean he’s not on US TV. How can anyone forget is stunning interview on HBO with Ali G

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    Your odd curiosity could have been solved with a dictionary.

    growing – become larger or greater over a period of time; increase.

    union – A labor union

    left – In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist are generally used to describe support for social changes to create a more egalitarian society. …

    If you’re still bewildered and confused what I mean by growing union left is the growing numbers and influence of leftists and our approach to defeating capitalism in unions.

  23. Hue-Man says:

    Am I correct in believing that Noam Chomsky gets zero airtime on U.S. TV and radio? In case you think it’s only CBC that interviews him, here’s the search results for TVO (TV Ontario, provincial public broadcaster)

    The CBC program Q (with Jian Ghomeshi) is not some late-night far-left political yelling match; it’s the AM radio show on weekdays from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (with a broadcast of one hour of highlights at 10:00 PM). Chomsky gets airtime in Canada because he does not feed back the pre-chewed morsels that come out of U.S. government offices and that passes for “journalism” in American mainstream media.

    The most chilling comment from his interview (I haven’t listened to it again) was when he said that the NSA spying on Americans is much worse than the CIA spying on him – he always assumed that the spooks were watching him – because it covers EVERYONE in the world who makes telephone calls, surfs the internet, or sends an e-mail (or even sends a letter!).

  24. perljammer says:

    Just curious, Bill. I’ve seen you use terms similar to “the growing union left” before. When you say “the growing union left”, are you saying that labor unions are intrinsically politically leftist and that membership is growing, or that union members are increasingly leftist? Or maybe something else?

  25. Bill_Perdue says:

    Thanks for another excellent post, GP.

    The united States has been a police state for most of it’s history.

    The first was from 1783 until 1865. As long as slavery was legal the US federal government and many state governments were police states. “The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says “State” instead of “Country” (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too. … In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the “slave patrols,” and they were regulated by the states.

    Other periods characterized by police state activities include the initial stage of union organizing from the late 1870’s until the late 1920s, the overlapping period that saw the use of police state tactics against the antiwar movement by the Wilson Administration, and later the Truman/ Eisenhower witch hunts, and the campaign to murder black militants from Malcolm X to King and the Panthers. Now we’re seeing the finishing touches being put on latest version of the police by Obama targeted squarely at American citizens.

    The latest wave of police state activities are aimed at preparing the groundwork for attacks on the left, the growing union left and the antiwar movement. They involve the racist murders of Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed and the racist sentence of death for Nidal Hassan.

    The only force that can end the police state is the union left, the growing left and workers as a whole who will increasingly look towards the creation of a workers state as the way to defeat the right and their police state.

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