Just happened to run across these on the same day…

First, keeping up with my reading assignments whilst awaiting an oil change:

“Their conversation continued in the Oval Office, shortly after 6 p.m. on August 22, when they were joined by Maxwell Taylor, the general Kennedy trusted most. The president wanted to go over two other secret operations before discussing Cuba. The first was the developing plan to drop twenty Chinese Nationalist soldiers into mainland China during the coming week. The second was a plan for the CIA to wiretap members of the Washington press corps….

“The president told (CIA director) McCone to set up a domestic task force to stop the flow of secrets from the government to the newspapers. The order violated the agency’s charter, which specifically prohibits domestic spying. Long before Nixon created his ‘plumbers’ unit of CIA veterans to stop news leaks, Kennedy used the agency to spy on Americans.”

(Source: Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, Tim Weiner, 2007)

Then, following the headlines on the internet…

“So all based on a handful of rather unremarkable emails sent to a woman fortunate enough to have a friend at the FBI, the FBI traced all of Broadwell’s physical locations, learned of all the accounts she uses, ended up reading all of her emails, investigated the identity of her anonymous lover (who turned out to be Petraeus), and then possibly read his emails as well. They dug around in all of this without any evidence of any real crime – at most, they had a case of “cyber-harassment” more benign than what regularly appears in my email inbox and that of countless of other people – and, in large part, without the need for any warrant from a court.”

(Source: The ever invaluable Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian, Nov. 13, 2012, read the whole thing here)

Boy, how I wish Raymond Chandler Speaking wasn’t packed away right now. Would love to get his exact quote on Hoover’s FBI circa the McCarthy era. Anyway, it was something to the effect that secret police forces all come to the same thing in the end.

Fortunately, other philosophers who aren’t packed away have been on the case all along. Keep me sane, they do:

Little Richard “Slippin’ and Slidin'” (Studio)

Bob Dylan “Talkin’ John BIrch Paranoid Blues” (Live Recording)

Aretha Franklin “Chain of Fools” (Television Performance)