The divide that separates the ruling class from the people who actually keep society functioning keeps getting wider and wider. Nothing illustrates this fact quite like the “debate” over the NSA’s mass surveillance and Edward Snowden’s role in exposing it.
I use the term debate very lightly here.
In reality, the questions that are being asked by the corporate media and their panels of handpicked commentators are contrived. “Did Snowden go through the proper channels to voice his concerns?” “Has Edward Snowden endangered our troops?” “Is Snowden a traitor?”
Contrived questions designed to be channeled to contrived answers.
Really John? You’re going to go there? You do realize you’re just digging your hole even deeper don’t you? Actually, you probably don’t.
You know what I think? I think people like you, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and John McCain have spent so much time in your little Washington D.C. insider bubble that you’ve completely lost touch with the people, but more importantly you’ve lost touch with reality. You guys have been drinking your own Koolaid so long, you haven’t realized that the rest of the world is sobering up and is watching in shock as you dance naked on the coffee table with a lampshade on your head.
This tendency for insular human groups to delude themselves is quite common. In fact social psychologists have a term for it: group think.
Listen I don’t know what you guys are smoking in Washington, but for us, the People, the Edward Snowden leaks and the NSA spying isn’t a controversy. It’s very cut and dry. We don’t want you spying on us. Period. Nothing you say is going to change our minds.
In terms of the law this isn’t a controversy either. The NSA’s mass surveillance and indiscriminate data collection, are blatant violations of the 4th amendment, and even beyond the borders of the United States it’s a violation of article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Not to mention the fact that this kind of eavesdropping is breach of common decency, and it’s one of the primary hallmarks of a totalitarian police state.
And speaking of police states, let’s be clear here. You’ll hear people tentatively comparing the NSA to the Stasi secret police of East Germany, but in reality this comparison isn’t fair. The Stasi program at its height, never even came close to what the NSA is doing right now.
The NSA is slurping up every bit of personal information they can put their hands on, both inside and outside of the United States, on everybody. We’re talking about emails, chats, phone conversations, video and audio Skype calls, and social media interactions. They’ve spread malware to hijack countless computers, turning on webcams and microphones remotely, logging keystrokes and browsing history. They even knew about the heartbleed bug for two years but refrained from warning security professionals, because they were using it to steal people passwords. And this is just the stuff that we know about. (Read more about the specific programs the NSA has been operating here.)
And no they’re not doing this to catch terrorists. If someone tries to use that excuse on you have them explain why the NSA tapped the cell phone of Germany’s president Angela Merkel, and then you might want to have them explain why the U.S. government is funding and arming Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria.
This isn’t about national security, it’s about power.
The problem with power, is that when a person, or a group holds it too long, they start believing that they deserve it. They start believing that they exist on higher plain than us commoners (that’s that Koolaid I was talking about).
If you or I engaged in the kind of snooping and hacking the NSA has been up to, we would end up behind bars for decades, but those who control the U.S. government, have somehow convinced themselves that they not only have the right to do these things, but that anyone who dares to warn the public about what they’ve been up to, should be punished.
This is like a bank robber suing the person who dialed 911.
You want to talk about treason? The creation and signing of the PATRIOT Act, that was treason, as was its extension. The creation and signing of the NDAA of 2012, 2013, and 2014 which continues to grant the military the power to detain anyone indefinitely without trial, that’s treason, and the NSA’s domestic spying program, that’s treason too.
These are betrayals, not just of your country, but of the very principles your country was founded on.
And let’s not kid ourselves here. The NSA didn’t go rogue and overstep its mandate. It’s doing what it’s doing because those in power ordered them to. That’s why we’re seeing these corrupt oligarchs like Kerry, Feinstein and McCain desperately attempting to paint Snowden as the bad guy. They know that as long as they can keep people arguing over his fate, the real criminals will walk free. Don’t let them get away with it.
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NSA Paying companies for your personal communications: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2013/09/23/attverizonsprint-are-paid-cash-by-nsa-for-your-private-communications
PRISM, how the NSA is tapping into data you share with tech giants like Facebook and Google: http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story_1.html
The NSA has been installing Malware on Thousands of Computers around the World (and is working to expand the program to millions of computers): https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/12/nsa-plans-infect-millions-computers-malware
The NSA knew about the Heartbleed bug for two years and exploited it to steal passwords: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/nsa-said-to-have-used-heartbleed-bug-exposing-consumers.html