I’ve been thinking about the Edward Snowden leaks to The Guardian lately, and about how the U.S. Government tried to hide such revelations of Snowden’s (about Prism, for example) from general public consumption (C-SPAN last December was the only place to see this shit). I’ve also been thinking about who I’m most likely to get accurate, high-quality information from: leakers and whistleblowers who find things that are going on that are so untoward they feel the need to alert the entire world, classified laws be damned; or U.S. Government officials who were part of the effort to keep the leakers from telling me how my Constitutional rights were being violated in the first place. Welcome to the beautiful and terrible merger of conspiracy theories and reality, in a way that only the 21st century can harken.
The sweater of post-Patriot Act stinky shit that I’ve been ranting about on this blog is finally starting to unravel. All of the leakers and journalists who study this type of thing are starting to say the same things: that James Bamford’s The Shadow Factory is true, that the Wired article he wrote in April of 2012 is about real shit, and that Snowden is just another whistleblower and American citizen who has been rubbed the wrong way by government overreach and being asked to either violate the rights of his fellow citizens or contribute to the violation of their rights. The Obama Administration cringes and froths yet again like a salty slug, because the real problem is the whistleblowers, you see, not that The Government in all its splendor can’t find people who are 100% ethically bankrupt to man all their posts in the Goon Underworld, leading to all this supposedly treasonous and traitorous sharing of classified information.
But who are the real bad guys? The Paul Reveres of the electronic frontier telling us that Big Brother is coming, or the Imperial President who thinks that the problem is that people are telling his secrets, not that he is running morally reprehensible (and previously illegal) police state surveillance programs under the guise of keeping us “safe”?
Here are the steps to how we got here: after 9/11, Bush and Congress put forth policies to integrate security agencies in the U.S. and create a few others, all in the name of making sure something like 9/11 never happens again. Bush also launched Total Information Awareness, which operated illegally and placed NSA offices inside every telecommunications rerouting station in the country to siphon off calls made by U.S. Citizens to foreigners. Under Obama, this illegal surveillance had a name change and makeover (despite Obama publicly stating that Total Information Awareness was over), and the Obama Administration also changed the laws to allow FISA to permit the harvesting of all digital communications between Americans and from Americans to foreigners.
So much for the part of the 1st Amendment about our privacy and the part of the 4th Amendment about reasonable suspicion. It started with searching us when we boarded airplanes, and has since morphed into searching us on buses and trains and searching all of our emails, all the time (in addition to still searching us when we board aircraft). Apparently in 2013, sending an email, calling someone on a cellphone that is not a burner, riding a train, and boarding an airplane all constitute “reasonable suspicion.” Have you ever heard of an ethical slippery slope? A photograph of this one should go next to the OED definition of the phrase.
Now the assholes who work for DARPA in their infinite wisdom, are trying to develop software algorithms that will determine if someone in the NSA and other agencies is about to leak before they leak something. Wait a second. So, the only people who have souls and spines that work for the government secret police agencies anymore are about to be pre-empted from telling us the truths that we need to know about to keep ourselves safe from our own Government? The good guys are about to be Minority Report-ed out of the industry before they help us? This seems like some perverse and dystopian form of double jeopardy. Are we to accept that the Government will just violate our rights illegally, push to make them legal, continue with overreach, and then put frosting on this steaming pile of shit by keeping the only real Americans left that they are able to hire from telling us what’s really going on useless?
This begs the other question, too: Why aren’t there leaks like Snowden’s every fucking day? I mean, our Government is into some really bad stuff!! It must be testimonial to the rock-bottom quality of the human sacks of shit they are hiring that there aren’t something like 5,000 Edward Snowdens, all of them household names.
And anyone who says “Well, you’re not the President, you haven’t been briefed or heard the Threat Assessment” is a complete sack of shit also. Here’s why that argument doesn’t fly: do the people of this country elect an autonomous President, or is he merely a Manchurian Candidate that is told by his handlers what to do and how to lead the country once elected? The President is the one elected to call the shots, not to change how he calls the shots based on what the embedded power structures tell him to do. Even if the Threat Assessment contains 100% accurate information (and I guarantee that the Goon Industrial Complex would prevent that from ever happening), responding to it in a way that would restrict American freedoms or result in the possible incarceration of innocent citizens is allowing the handlers to call the shots. What business does Obama have with assuming that what his handlers are telling him is true? Why would any President do this? More importantly, we know who the leader of the U.S. is de jure, but who is the de facto ruler of the United States?
President Obama, the Government is not my friend, and it’s not yours, either. Snowden is our friend. He is not a traitor, a spy, or a threat to the U.S.. He traded a life on Maui and a pole-dancing girlfriend for Communist China because he was so unsettled by what you have authorized NSA officials to be able to do. Stop violating our rights, and stop using your law degree to bastardize the greatest Constitution on Earth. No amount of government officials you can trot out on national media to call into question the revelations Snowden has shared will be taken seriously, because the stakes for them will never be as high as the stakes were for Snowden. Finally, the more you subjugate the whistleblowers, the more “the lady doth protest too much.” Stop doing horrible shit, and you won’t have a whistleblower and leak problem anymore. Also, stop making me think that the Tea Party whack jobs were right and that you actually are a technocrat fascist. The further we get from the 2008 political debates, the saner they all seem, and this is 100% your fault. Shame on you!