Hell hath no fury like an National Security Agency operative scorned, it would seem, after it emerged recently that several employees of the American intelligence agency had spied on ex-lovers over the past decade.
They even had a codename for the practice—‘Love-int.’ How romantic. In what must be a first in human history, individuals granted special powers by the state over and above the rights of their fellow citizens have actually ended up abusing the privilege. Indeed, privacy rules were broken by the NSA nearly 3,000 times over a one-year period.
Clearly, the NSA has overstepped the mark. Granted, security and freedom are thought by many to be two sides of the same coin. And we can all think of exes who we consider a threat to national security. But do Americans really pay their taxes to give the geeks at the NSA the sick satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that your ex has put on a few pounds and has gone for the extra onion rings once again?
Sadly, the American intelligence community has form in this area. Famously, the FBI thought it was in America’s national interest to listen to Martin Luther King having sex. Apparently Dr King’s nocturnal activities just pipped the whole preventing-him-from-beingmurdered thing on the FBI’s list of priorities.
But perhaps the most worrying aspect of the whole sordid saga is this: those charged with protecting the United States from her myriad aggressors seemingly thought they could repair the damage of broken relationships with their former loves by…spying on them.
Oh, come on! Who are these people? Is this really the cream of the vast, omnipotent American military machine? Aren’t these guys meant to be able to think like terrorists? Because even a terrorist knows girls don’t like it when you’re creepy. And in case you didn’t realise…
SPYING ON SOMEONE IS CREEPY!
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer my spies more James Bond than David Brent. Do you reckon 007 checked Pussy Galore’s iPhone records to see if she’d been playing ‘Words with Friends’ with her yoga instructor once the mission was over?
Most of the problems associated with America’s advancing police state have received considerable attention. One that has not, is that with expansion comes a thinning of the talent pool. Gone are the days when spies were über-cool alpha-males. They have been replaced by dorky, computer nerds sniffing around their exes’ rubbish like lost dogs.
An insidious, authoritarian security apparatus should undermine free society with a hint of swagger. If you’re going to strip me of my liberties, at least take me out for a drink first.