If the NSA suppresses political dissent, why are they so bad at it?

Philosophical Politics

English: First page of Constitution of the Uni... English: First page of Constitution of the United States Česky: První strana originálu Ústavy Spojených států amerických Español: La página primera de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I came across Barry Eisler’s post Motive, Means, and Opportunity: Why NSA Secrecy Should Worry Us All and I thought he would explain why secrecy was bad for a liberal democracy. Although he never discussed this issue, he did make a more important claim that is more interesting. He claimed that liberal democratic governments, like the United States suppress dissent.

When it comes to domestic dissent, the government always has a motive. It’s just human nature to see ourselves as noble and good and our detractors as malignant.  And indeed, the historical evidence for the proposition that governments tend to view dissenters as the enemy is overwhelming: see CointelproProject Minaret; and Project Shamrock for…

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