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Salon 21st | The president as lab rat
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- Subject: Salon 21st | The president as lab rat
- From: "Kristian Köhntopp" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 09:52:50 +0200
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- Organization: SH Online Dienst GmbH
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Ein ausgezeichneter Artikel über Privacy und deren Nichtexistenz in der
Shopping-World der kommenden Jahre. Amerika lernt Datenschutz...
the president as lab rat
How much surveillance can one human being take?
President Clinton is helping us find out.
BY GARY WOLF | The Clinton-Lewinsky
investigation is a test of the technology of total
What an American twist: This advanced
experiment with publicizing an entire life takes
place not with a prisoner or subversive who is
captured, humiliated and executed nor with an
artist, but rather with the leader of our country.
The official record shows President Clinton's
every call. The investigators have his schedule
down to the minute; they know every visitor; they
also have all Monica Lewinsky's calls and her
pager record; they have done a blood test, a DNA
analysis and identified his semen from a
2-year-old ejaculation; they know everything he
purchased for her and everything he received.
They have organized the information in
convenient form and broadcast it to the world. In
Times Square, his interrogation became an
element of urban design.
[ ... ]
The things that everybody says they hate about
the turn the investigation has taken -- the
unfairness of the broadcast of the deposition, the
ruthlessness of the persecutors, the ever-ramifying
minutiae of the documentary evidence and the joy
that the independent counsel has taken in trapping
his mendacious witness -- are exactly what has
become most valuable. We are getting a glimpse
of the new world. Once we adapt, it might not
seem so bad. "Homo Sapiens," said a
primatologist, "is the animal that can get used to
anything." The president, in fateful fulfillment of
his political ambition, has become an indispensable
SALON | Sept. 25, 1998
Gary Wolf is a contributing editor at Wired magazine.
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