I agree on all those things, but what I would say is that if all those things above have happened and put us "on the path" to a mild form of authoritarianism, then there's likely more we don't know that would put us right there in the thick of it. I'm not even suggesting it's wrong. I just think it's a naturally occurring thing that seems to afflict a free society that accepts a tradeoff of greater security at the expense of individual freedom. Ender was right in his earlier post. We do take most of this stuff for granted. But no one here has suggested abolishing the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc etc. In fact, all I've read here and even throughout the media is outrage. No one is seriously suggesting stopping clandestine programs in their entirety. I don't think we should even stop these recently revealed programs. I think perhaps it's enough to know.