Juan Cole explains why dissent is impossible in a surveillance state.
We´re guaranteed some hypothetical "right to dissent," then find ourselves in a situation in which legal dissent is impossible. With dissent effectively criminalized, it becomes a revolutionary act, which is not the same as dissent.
The imprisonment of Chelsea Manning and de facto banishment of Ed Snowden prove it. Unless, of course, when Obama and the former occupant and all the other guardians of our liberty say ¨dissent,¨ they mean the kind of pointless complaining that doesn´t lead anywhere, i.e., the ¨right¨ to go blow off steam in a ¨free speech zone.¨
But let somebody put a little force into his or her dissent, say by saying that the heads of the department are systematic liars, then produce the government memos that prove it, and watch how fast the fine observances of our rights required by the Constitution go out the window.