One of the more consequential events of the 2013 involved the ongoing revelations about the NSA. Barton Gellman (Washington Post) has an excellent piece on Edward Snowden based on some recent interviews. One excerpt:
“For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” he [Snowden] said. “I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.”
I remain uncertain as to what to make of Snowden. But clearly his revelations have forced a higher level of attention to the surveillance state created in the wake of 9/11. Whether there are significant changes in policy remains to be seen. Crisis invariably leads to an expansion of state power, and as Robert Higgs reminds us, it is usually a one-way ratchet.