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by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

This morning, if you’ve been following my del.icio.us “quicklinks“, you might have seen a link to an article about (the former) Citicorp Centre in New York. After the construction was completed, the engineer who designed the steele steel skeleton realised that a terrible oversight had been made. So, he blew the whistle on himself. As a result of his coming forward, the problem was fixed and all concerned came out the better for it.

Just a few minutes ago I finished reading a few different articles on recent revelations of how the NSA in the U.S. has been tapping into all the internet traffic at AT&T. And perhaps at other ISPs as well. It’s disturbing to say the least.

What I find even more disheartening is the fact that this will probably blow over in too short a time. We (in the “western” world) as a people have become far, far too complacent. And distracted. We’re too busy leading our own little lives to stop, look up at the world around us and realise how far things have gone.

I think I’m actually a little too upset at the moment to put down everything that’s running through my mind in any coherent manner. So, I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the posters on slashdot. It’s taken from Boston Legal.

When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out to be not true, I expected the American people to rise up. Ha! They didn’t.

Then, when the Abu Ghraib torture thing surfaced and it was revealed that our government participated in rendition, a practice where we kidnap people and turn them over to regimes who specialize in torture, I was sure then the American people would be heard from. We stood mute.

Then came the news that we jailed thousands of so-called terrorists suspects, locked them up without the right to a trial or even the right to confront their accusers. Certainly, we would never stand for that. We did.

And now, it’s been discovered the executive branch has been conducting massive, illegal, domestic surveillance on its own citizens. You and me. And I at least consoled myself that finally, finally the American people will have had enough. Evidentially, we haven’t.

In fact, if the people of this country have spoken, the message is we’re okay with it all. Torture, warrantless search and seizure, illegal wiretappings, prison without a fair trial – or any trial, war on false pretenses. We, as a citizenry, are apparently not offended.

There are no demonstrations on college campuses. In fact, there’s no clear indication that young people seem to notice…

I’m a firm believer in the power of the people. But even I can’t help but ask, with all that’s going on, what’s one to do?