By Piper Bayard
“Compulsive Hoarding is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary.” ~ Hoarders
At this point, we know the following about the NSA and its electronic data collection on Americans and foreigners:
- First and foremost, the NSA is not acting in a vacuum. The basic purpose of intelligence agencies is to gather information . . . not for themselves, but for the policy makers. Their actions must be authorized and funded by the White House and Congress.
- The NSA, at the behest of the White House and Congress, is unapologetically collecting and storing all of our electronic transmissions—phone calls, banking transactions, grocery purchases, social media posts, social media connections, internet search histories, etc., in the name of “security.”
- In spite of all of this Extreme Security, they couldn’t pinpoint two deadbeats with a hotline to Chechnya Jihad Central who were Facebooking and Tweeting their jihadi hafla across the Cyberverse.
What does this tell us? The NSA has so many ones and zeros stacked up on us that it can no longer tell fact from fiction, or terrorist from law-abiding citizen. It has at this point collected so much hay in the barn that it can no longer find the threatening needle, or even the barn.
So I’m wondering . . . Do we need to send the Hoarders crew to NSA headquarters to help them sort out this dysfunction? Or do we just need to fire them all and put the crew of Cheaters in charge of figuring out who needs surveilling, and who doesn’t?
Perhaps a 12-Step Group is in order. Work with me now, NSA . . .
The 12 Steps of NSA
1. I admitted I am powerless over my compulsion to collect the electronic transmissions of Americans and their Allies, and my ability to do my job has become unmanageable.
NSA: “Wait. Did I just admit to something? I don’t like this kind of talking.”
Piper: “It’s okay, NSA. You’re in a safe space. Just take a deep breath and stay with me.”
2. I came to believe that a power greater than myself or my masters in Congress and the White House – the American people – can restore me to legal activities.
Piper: “That’s it, NSA. Good. Go on.”
3. I made the decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of the American people, if they will step up and take responsibility for me.
Piper: “Good point, NSA. The American people elect Congress and the President, and Congress and the President tell you what to do. But you must take responsibility for your own actions, too. Go on.”
4. I made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and of the things I’ve been told to do by American policy makers.
5. I admitted to the American people, to myself, and to the foreign heads of state the exact nature of my illegal activities.
NSA: “I’m admitting things again!” *breaks out in sweat*
6. I am entirely ready to have the American people remove all these defects of character.
Piper: “Here’s your paper bag. You’re doing great.”
7. I humbly asked the American people to remove my shortcomings.
Piper: “That’s it. Good job.”
8. I made a list of all Americans and Allies I had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. However, that list is still classified, and we cannot admit that it exists.
Piper: “NSA, I don’t think that’s quite in the spirit of what we’re doing here.”
9. I made profuse denials to such people who found out they were on the list that doesn’t exist, except when to do so would injure me, the White House, or Congress.
Piper: “NSA . . .?”
10. I continued to take personal inventory, and when I was wrong, I promptly held a secret committee meeting to discuss how to contort the law to justify that violation.
11. I sought through surveillance and clandestine activities to improve my conscious contact with the American people and our Allies, striving only for knowledge of their private activities and the technology to record and store ever more personal data. Like how you “liked” apple cider vinegar on Facebook. You can combine vinegar with baking soda to make a suspicious fizzing reaction, so that makes you suspect.
Piper: “No! Bad NSA!”
12. Having had to scramble to cover my own butt, as well as the collective butts of Congress and the President as the result of Edward Snowden’s revelations, I tried to shore up all other potential leaks and practice more egregious power grabs and violations as demanded of me by policy makers.
Piper: *head desk*
Can we get Dr. Phil in here? Or maybe Montel Williams, so he can find out what baby daddy spawned this constitutional travesty? Because right now, the only thing the NSA, the White House, and Congress are fit for is Jerry Springer.