Whether it be print, television or online, mainstream Western media only ever offers fractured coverage of what “intelligence” has become in the post 9/11 era. As a result, citizens of countries most involved in developing this new intelligence legal and operational framework—led by the United States—have next to no idea what’s being done in their name and with their tax dollars.
This is, of course, the 5 Eyes, an intelligence sharing partnership initiated by the U.S. and encompassing partner nations Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In the latest Words of Others podcast reading, we focus in again on the deep investigative work of Suzie Dawson, who recently kicked off a new campaign, #1vs5i to raise awareness about how the 5 Eyes have been targeting regular citizens, pro-democracy activists and dissidents rather than actual violent terrorists. Anyone familiar with her work will well know that Dawson fled her home country of New Zealand as well as her subsequent refuge in Berlin to escape targeted harassment and danger to her and her family conducted by 5 Eyes-related intelligence assets.
This particular investigation, published in Consortium News back in January and titled They Spy with Their Little Eye, is but one piece of the work she’s undertaken for several years now, and its implications are sobering in the extreme. But, especially for American citizens, it is work that should be faced bravely and absorbed.
It is in this context that our current election circus is occurring. It is in this context that we make decisions about what kind of domestic political action makes a genuine difference. It is up to each one of us to think more rigorously about whether electoral politics (or, at the very least, electoral politics alone) can have an impact on the paradoxical state of affairs in which an empire is both expanding and contracting, an activity that is terrifyingly like breath.
Consider how one deals with such a creature.
As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening.
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