In this week’s spotlight I would like to discuss trust—specifically in our government. Last week I spent two hours with George Noory on Coast-to-Coast AM discussing the Vault 7 Wikileaks release of some of the things in the CIA’s hacking toolbox. In my book, Gotcha! The Subordination of Free Will, I covered many of the tools available to our intelligence agencies. I also spent thousands of words sharing some of the very many atrocious studies that had been carried out on innocent American citizens in the name of security. There are well known abuses such as the work conducted under the guise of MK-Ultra and many lesser-known ones. In one instance, fog was used to test the distribution of airborne viral agents in San Francisco and this led to the death of at least one man. When his family learned of this and sued, the Court ruled that the government could not be sued for this action. I don’t want to belabor the point, but the fact is, our so-called clandestine agencies have often conducted themselves in less than moral ways, and done so at the expense of innocent Americans.
We have all been enculturated in ways that have fed the idea of national pride and ethnocentrism. As such, we tend to trust much more than we sometimes should. The technology available today can do much more than turn your TV set into something that watches you, and/or your cell phone into a tracking and eavesdropping device such as was disclosed in the Vault 7 info—it can even take over the operation of your automobile, seize control of your computer, and much more.
Now never forget that we actually help the spies invade our privacy. We openly share too much info on social networking sites, we fill in questionnaires defining our personality characteristics, we buy devices such as Amazon’s Echo, etc. It is our responsibility to protect our information in an age where it is our information that is used to manipulate us.
Trust But Verify
So what do we trust today? Many experts are insisting that although the CIA has these devices, it never uses them on US citizens. But then, how long ago was it that we had officials from the CIA and NSA testifying to Congress that they never spied on Americans—and oh wait for it—then came Snowden.
In today’s world, I think it is only good sense to check what you hear in the news before trusting it, and when it comes to trusting government, I’m reminded of something Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify!” For to follow along blindly accepting the current story line, whatever that may be, will invariably lead, as Edward R. Murrow put it, to “A nation of sheep [that] will beget a government of wolves.”
As always, thanks for the read and I’d love your thoughts on this one.
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions