A practitioner of Zen Buddhism was talking to me about delusions. I asked him to clarify what he meant and he explained that delusional thinking was a way of convincing yourself of a false reality. It’s like when you believe the Double Down is good for you because it doesn’t have any bread (this is my example, not his…). Don Quixote is the epitome of a delusional thinker who believed windmills were giants and subsequently attacked them. Thinking that the NSA isn’t unconstitutionally spying on Americans is also delusional.
The original NSA spying leak was shocking but since then there continues to more damning announcements. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is actively using the NSA database, but then lying about how it obtained evidence through the euphemism “parallel construction.” The owner of the Edward Snowden’s email service decided to shut down his company rather than become “complicit in crimes against the American people,” warning:
without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.
And despite promises by officials to the contrary, the Guardian reported another leak that due to a Kafkaesque loophole, warrant-less spying on Americans is indeed allowed.
I am a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy. I willingly took an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. While I’m no longer in the military, as a person who went to Afghanistan to fight for his country, I feel a civic responsibility to act when I see the Constitution being violated. What the NSA and other agencies are doing is wrong and needs to stop.
Despite the attempts by his squire Sancho to convince him what was real, Don Quixote rushed into battle against false enemies and brought harm to those around him. The War on Terror has become our windmill. We’ve spent countless taxpayer’s dollars and disgraced ourselves chasing false giants. Before his death, Don Quixote realized his delusional behavior and regretted his actions. It’s time we have a similar revelation, “Now I see through [the] absurdities and deceptions, and it only grieves me that this destruction of my illusions has come so late that it leaves me no time to make some amends…”
I am not a “14-year-old in the basement clicking around the Internet,” but I do proudly wear my Happy Hacking t-shirt. I’m a veteran who has had enough of the lying and it’s time to speak up. If this matters to you too, please consider joining the Electronic Frontier Foundation and help them fight for our digital rights.