Attorney General William P. Barr declared on Monday that a deadly shooting last month at a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla., was an act of terrorism, and he asked Apple in an unusually high-profile request to provide access to two phones used by the gunman.
Whatever tools we allow the government to have, to abridge, contravene, or curtail our Constitutional rights, in the name of terrorism, they will eventually use against anyone who disagrees with the presiding administration, regardless of party affiliation.
“Justice Department officials said that they need access to Mr. Alshamrani’s phones to see messages from encrypted apps like Signal or WhatsApp to determine whether he had discussed his plans with others at the base and whether he was acting alone or with help.”
For years, above all the hand-wringing about it, we heard Bush-administration officials tell us how they had obtained vital intelligence from the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” — i.e., torture — that the US government used against captured terrorists after 9/11. The Senate conducted an oversight investigation into these practices. The report was released in 2014. Turns out, it was all lies. All of it. They gained exactly zero actionable intelligence from a dozen years of those practices. Out of thousands of torture sessions. Not “a little.” Not “one.” ZERO.
And the two retired military “advisors” who led the “EIT” program walked away with $80,000,000 of our tax dollars.
(And, yes, I admit that it’s a shame that it took a movie to educate me about this, but, to be fair, the government took pains to limit the scope and exposure of the report, and pressured news sites to downplay coverage of the report.)
The deep state of the military-industrial-intelligence complex has repeatedly shown that they will utterly shamelessly lie and propagandize to control the narrative to their wishes, against any pressure of truth or justice or the American way in the Constitutional free press.
The only thing that has lead to capturing and killing other terrorists has been good, old-fashioned surveillance. In the aftermath of targeted killings like Bin Laden, we are said to have known their whereabouts most of the time, with a high-degree of certainty. No cell phones or apps needed at all, encrypted or otherwise. Yet we have this continual demand from law enforcement that they be allowed to decrypt all communications at will, in direct contravention of our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
It’s not that I have anything to hide. Rather, I do not trust the opaque intentions of our government, particularly when so many whistleblowers have outed so many internal programs of malicious intent, and effectively zero oversight.