Dear President Obama,
During your recent trip to Africa it was ironic and disheartening to hear you urge students to follow their hopes, not their fears. Your administration’s security policies are completely fear-based, as illustrated by your comments about the impossibility of having both 100% security and 100% privacy. Total security is not only unattainable in combination with 100% privacy — it is not possible; and absolute privacy is also not feasible in a world inhabited by others.
The language of false security that you employ is the same hollow terminology that has been used by totalitarian governments of every political stripe. From Stalin to Mao, Pinochet to Franco, civil rights abuses, war campaigns, “enhanced interrogation” torture and other violent atrocities have always been explained away as being urgently necessary for the security of the nation. This Orwellian doublespeak is largely based upon fear rather than hope, and its use is always suspect.
In addition, the flatly dismissive tone you used to describe Edward J. Snowden as a “29-year-old hacker” is also most disappointing. Age, bravery and moral courage have no inherent connection; and Mr. Snowden did not have access to information by hacking, but through his legal employment. Your administration’s continued eagerness to prosecute courageous whistleblowers as traitors is sadly authoritarian, reactionary and unpatriotic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpyrMFjG_NkMao images by Andy Warhol