Friday, June 28, 2013 | 2 a.m.
When I was a young person in school, I was told that America was better than Russia and China because we did not have secret police.
Just like everything else, we grow up and find out that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy do not exist. George Orwell was on the right track with his negative utopias. I think I liked “Animal Farm” and “1984” the best. The leaks have clearly divided our country. On one side, we want to be safe, but on the other side, we do not feel free when we are being spied on.
I believe that Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are heroes. The government is busily trying to scare us into submission with its current tactics. These seem like test cases. Kurt Vonnegut once wrote about a dictator who hung a tremendous hook in the public square and told his subjects that he would hang anyone who got “out of line” on this hook. Well, I think the current hook is the antiquated Espionage Act that was created during World War I to discourage war protesters, especially Eugene Debs.
I once saw on TV an investigative report of the CIA and its huge spying apparatus. The reporter suggested years ago that the majority of their work was spying on American citizens. We live in interesting times. I think we are better than this.