C|Net’s Charles Cooper = Right-wing Apologist

Why does Charles Cooper have a job at C|net.com and not at Foxnews.com? His latest stupid screed indicates his bias and his lack of understanding of the issues. His most recent column, Hanging DARPA out to dry takes “the do-gooders and other high-minded guardians of the commonweal” to task for being suspicious of the motives behind DARPA initiatives like TIA and FutureMAP [PDF]. After all, Cooper assures us:

TIA data was supposed to focus on foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information gathered– not whether you rented “Debbie Does Dallas” on your last trip to Blockbuster. It’s not hard to build in safeguards that protect against potential abuses of the system. The Defense Department set up internal and external oversight boards to make sure that constitutional rights and privacy protection are not compromised.

Don’t you feel reassured. After all, it’s going after foreigners! And there’s no evidence that the government has ever used its legal –and extralegal — powers to spy on ordinary Americans, right? (Unless you count J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO, Nixon’s enemies lists, the out-of-control investigation by Kenneth Starr, etc.) And, of course this domestic surveillance will just be looking at guilty people, right? (This proves he has no clue even about the technical issues a columnist for a computer new site should have: the idea of TIA is to look at EVERY PIECE OF DATA on EVERYONE and that will enable the government to pick out the potential terrorists… or anarchists… or liberals… or blasphemers…)

And, don’t worry, he tells us, there’ll be “effective safeguards”. Yeah… Just like the effective safeguards which allow the RIAA to acquire extra-judicial subpoenas in order to strip the privacy protections of citizens who are merely accused of violating a freaking copyright! Are we supposed to believe that it’ll be any harder for the Department of Defense or any of the other agencies subscribing to the TIA database to get their hands on that information when they claim the subject of the data is a potential terrorist? Keep dreaming moron.

Then, like every other half-assed justification for stripping our civil rights, liberties and consititutional protections, this hack trots out the already-cliched September 11 scenario:

TIA critics say this is an open invitation to an Orwellian future. Really? I haven’t seen any proof of that, though I did see the smoking hole that used to be the World Trade Tower complex in my hometown of New York City.

Well, Charles, I’ve seen the smoking hole which used to be our Bill of Rights buried under lies, excuses and outright disdain for all the things which made this country a beacon of democracy. And all in the name of “Security”. I’ve seen this Administration engage in pre-emptive war, unilaterally break treaties, use secret trials, effective suspension of habeas corpus, establishment of concentration camps, re-institution of the possibility of a nuclear war, and every depredation of liberty which even Orwell didn’t imagine. And I’m sick and tired of hearing apologists — even in tech publications — excuse every wrong based on a twisted belief that ANY of it could have or would have averted the terrorist catastrophe which affected our nation nearly two years ago. Wake up! We had all the information we needed and we ignored it!

Cooper’s just further proof of the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the conservatives, who are supposed to believe that government is bad, yet are willing to surrender every shred of privacy for some false security.