Dear Dirty America


Will You Be On Greenwald’s NSA Surveillance Targeted Victims List?

Will You Be On Greenwald’s NSA Surveillance Targeted Victims List?
May 27
13:55 2014

If journalist and former Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald goes through with his so-called ‘Snowden, NSA leak finale’, you might be confronted with the awkward realization that the National Security Agency has targeted you for further surveillance. What will you do then?

Greenwald announced his final Snowden revelation would be to “reveal names of US citizens targeted by their own government”. Who are these victims?

“One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’,” he said.

“Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists?

Will you check the list for your name? As with most stubborn hillbillies who have no political connections but crave a little Washington DC action anyway, I would be honored to see my name on that list. It would be noteworthy enough to tell my grandchildren some day, over and over again:

“Did I tell you the time grandpa was revealed to be on the NSA target list? Things were hopeful back then. Not like today, with you kids all chipped and plugged into your smart devices. Kids actually turned their smart phones off sometimes, like when eating or sleeping. We thought we were actually fighting the beast back then.”

There’s a decent chance I’ll be on that list that Greenwald will publish, because over the years I’ve consorted with the most unseemly of characters:

North Korean Audience

I don’t know how it happened! But it should be enough fodder to be labeled suspicious by the NSA.

There are few people who understand why some websites or books gain popularity in unlikely places in the world. Why did the French admire and quote Charles Bukowski a decade before American readers found his workingman’s simplicity poetic and valuable? A poem about accidentally shitting on your wallet didn’t at first come off as artistic to some.

The same goes for Dear Dirty America. Why does my North Korean audience keep expanding? Politics and satire make strange bedfellows. As the web traffic flows in from the most secretive kingdom on earth, I revel in the intense readership, but I cringe to imagine what my keepers in the NSA think. I’m from good American stock. The land of Bush & Reagan. But still, the NSA must be watching closely, just in case I fall victim to the Eternal Leader’s charm and assist him in carrying out covert missions within America’s borders, on behalf of the Hermit Kingdom.

“We no like Americans,” one of my NK readers emailed me, “but we like Dear Dirty America.” I will keep him anonymous for now. 

Hubert Humdinger, exiled fanatical cultural philosopher

And then there’s this old bastard. I met Humdinger when I was a young child. He was doing leg lifts while sitting on a bench outside of a 7-11 in a desolate Midwestern town. We’ve been friends ever since. That chance meeting was just before he jetted off in the middle of the night to an undisclosed place in Northern Europe. Humdinger had all his books burned by the State Department.

Hubert_HumdingerSaid a government spokesperson in a tightly controlled press conference in 1971: “The alignment of unorthodox ideas into grand unity provide, we believe, an unhealthy access to mental and spiritual power that resides in each human, but isn’t meant to be awakened all at once.”

He continued, “Words can and do light fires in the minds of men, and it seems Humdinger strives to not only start the fires, but pour gasoline onto them, and blow them into whirlwinds of uncontrollable fire. The US government will not spend money and risk lives putting out those flames.”

The exiled cultural philosopher keeps me flush with quotes and insights about history and current political and social events during our weekly Skype chats. He is a monster to the establishment, but a hero for those who value integrity and a principled system of ethics.

Humdinger is not well-adapted to the Internet, and somehow he’s been under the impression that this website, which so often quotes him, has around 100,000-200,000 readers each week. I am not sure how or when he latched onto that idea.

I have been slow to straighten out his assumption. One day I will, but not yet. He gets a kick out of thinking he’s affecting the masses with his wisdom, such as when the Edward Snowden leaks were released, and I questioned their veracity and quoted a military intelligence officer on the matter.

If the NSA is vacuuming up every email, text message, Skype chat, and blog post, I told the old philosopher, maybe I can publish so many articles that I’ll overwhelm the millions of hard-drives and overheat the system. I’ll take it down internally by sheer bulk of information. Humdinger chided me:

“You can’t blow up the goddamned system, you louse!”

Cliven Bundy Encounter

Another reason to land on the special list of NSA targets would be to support anybody in staunch opposition to the federal government.

Such a hero was found in the outlier cowbody named Cliven Bundy. While many simpletons made this sensational headline story into aCowboy_sign_of_the_Pioneer_Hotel_&_Gambling_Hall black and white issue, the nuanced reality of the case reflected back to anybody who wished to see the heated complexities about land conservation, individuals’ rights, private property and land ownership, and if the federal government should be able to grant itself the right to block off millions of acres across the nation for its own pet projects and its favorite special corporate interests.

My friend Marlin and I took a trip to Bundy’s ranch, but we ended up lost and thirsty in the desert. A mysterious figure in a white robe berated us on ethnic diversity and left us to die under the hot sun. Luckily we found the nutrition-dense weed, Lamb’s Quarters, and were able to gain enough strength to walk back to the car and drive back to Los Angeles.

Henry Reid, the finely corrupted senator from Nevada, called Bundy and his supporters “domestic terrorists”, because they were terrorizing his son’s plans to further establish on the disputed land a solar energy plant built by the Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group.

“Show’s Over Folks, Take Care Until the Next One”

So tally up your ideological offenses against the overempowered federal government, and ask yourself if you think you will be on that list Greenwald is going to release to the public. It’ll be one hell of a finale in the Edward Snowden case, but just as Greenwald compared it to the final blast of a multicolored fireworks show, it’ll be a lot of light and banging noise, and then the smoke will clear and you’ll go back home and carry on with your business.

And the NSA will carry on with theirs.

[National Security Agency headquarters, photo by Trevor Paglen]

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