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The year in misery: 2013

Misery, some say, possesses a strange quality. Like pain, you can't have misery and not know it. Misery, then, is a miserable situation realized and felt.

A number of the major civil liberties stories of 2013 were not related to discrete events of the year. The NSA did not begin its dragnet surveillance of ordinary citizens this year, nor did U.S. drones first eviscerate civilian bodies in Pakistan and Yemen. But 2013 saw these and other stories revealed in force to the American public. As a year marked by revelation (and authoritarian attempts to quash revelation), 2013 was a big year for misery -- making known and felt our troubling state of current of affairs.

As with any end-of-year list, mine is far from exhaustive and further still from complete. Here I offer just a slim reminder of some events and revelations of the last 12 months in a Grinch-like effort to chill your holiday cheer. I've restricted myself to a U.S. focus; that the news cycle here regularly does the same is a miserable fact in its own right. Without further ado, your year in misery:

The state of total surveillance

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