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We Live Under a Total Surveillance State in America — Can We Prevent It from Evolving into a Full-Blown Police State?


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color:black”>Editor's Note: This is the conclusion of an original AlterNet series on the U.S. Executive Branch.  150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
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"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:black”>“Knowledge (of) the scale of our capability would raise public awareness generating unwelcome publicity for us and our political masters." 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:black”>“To approve such a program, the Court must have every confidence that the government is doing its utmost to ensure that those responsible for implementation fully comply with the Court’s orders. The Court no longer has such confidence."
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color:black”>For those alarmed by the steady growth of lawless, violent and authoritarian U.S. Executive power for the last 50 years, the events of the past few months have been exciting. The emergence of a de facto coalition of progressives and conservatives opposing the 
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color:black”>The most important development has been the public and congressional reaction to President Obama's proposal to strike Syria. A huge majority of the American people opposed even a limited military action by the Executive Branch. Reading the polls, the President decided to seek congressional authorization for a limited military action. For the first time in living memory, Congress clearly opposed him. It is too soon to say what this will mean for the future, but the implications clearly extend beyond just this particular strike or President.

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color:black”>The main arena besides the Middle East where the issue of the Executive Branch vs. Congress and the American people will play out in coming months will concern attempts to limit not only Executive surveillance of innocent Americans, but its other assaults on the very foundation of democracy itself.      

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color:black”>The fundamental issue involved amidst the ongoing 
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color:black”>Most of the focus until now has been on trying to absorb the dimensions of the surveillance state we have suddenly learned we are living in since June 6. But it is now time to focus on the actions needed to end its assaults on democracy.

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color:black”>This is not a simple question, either politically or technically. Politically, it is impossible to envision ending the surveillance state without a broad left-right coalition both in Congress and among the public devoted to doing so. But it will be difficult to maintain a coalition of progressives and Tea Partiers, liberals and conservatives, who neither trust nor respect one another—particularly when fought by an Executive that will hit back against attempts to contro

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