The Eye of Sauron
State surveillance : State : Democracy
According to Der Spiegel:
Bush is convinced that he is truly waging a war, and in times of war the president, as commander-in-chief, should enjoy practically unlimited powers. The Bush administration has used this supposedly unlimited authority to its fullest extent, sending terror suspects to countries known to torture their prisoners and developing and approving interrogation methods that led to human rights violations in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. The administration, it seems, has reserved the right to break the law in the name of its own holy war.Of course, Machiavelli advised that the wise Prince would always be at war - and the framers of the American constitution did always intend the President to be more like a Roman Consul than a General Secretary of the American Union.
Bush has made great use of so-called presidential signing statements, which are issued when the president signs a bill into law, to push his imperial agenda. In a signing statement, the president explains his interpretation of a law approved by Congress and how he intends to apply that law.
This is part and pacel of his decision to monitor all phone calls on a mass trawling exercise - perhaps they've never seen Six Degrees of Separation the idea of looking at anyone who talked to anyone who was suspiscious becomes rapidly ridiculous. Nonetheless, the database is a monolith to surveillance.
The strapline for the recent V for Vendetta was that the people shouldn't be afraid of the government, the government should be afraid of its people - it is afraid, oh so afraid.