Encapsulated in Oblivion, And The Media Gets off Scott Free
Watched Snowden last night, again — this time with family. The most comprehensive and prolonged discussion ensued, but after only 5 minutes, there were just three of us: me, my sister and my brother-in-law. “The elders” (of which there were two) had gone to bed — one of whom called Snowden a traitor. The other probably couldn’t decide, but was offended by even the most basic spying by our government, and my bro-in-law, like me — felt Snowden was trying to do a good thing but that he also erred in revealing some of our plans and tactics — which tipped off Al Qaeda in a few incidents and generally.
My sister started covering all the net-connected cameras in the house, and I was encouraged to feel as if — though Snowden is a man of conscience like myself (but of course technically much smarter), I might not have revealed as much (stress on ‘might’, because it seems he was as careful as was possible).
The conversation resulted in my sister and I being left talking about Islam. I introduced her to the Bill Mahr episode wherein Sam Harris and Ben Aflec had their showdown on the subject — so (of course) she, like most non-initiates — was remotely offended by #samharris and identified with Ben Aflec (which — no fault of hers — disturbs me — a little, as she is very intelligent and rational — and thus is indicative of what busy members of our society know and don’t know).
So, I then introduced her to Ayaan Hirsi Ali ( #ayaanhirsiali ). Good information was coming my sister’s way from the horse’s mouth, but her daughter came into the room and needed ‘mommy to lie with her.’ My bro-in-law also had to attend to looking after their other daughter.
And, so — this scenario illustrates how America is caught: enormously important issues are reduced to history and even then, find their way into a minority of minds as entertainment. By the next morning they are forgotten — as Snowden is.
Edward Snowden: A Superlatively Moral and Ingenious young man who believed in the Constitution so greatly that he became a Marine and the most intelligent CIA and NSA asset this country has ever seen. He now languishes in Russia — the target of our post-9/11 national security state — which under the leadership of Donald Trump will probably see him turned into a pawn of Putin’s.
Barack Obama: Pardon him and let him come home. His “crime” is he upheld the Constitution of the United States and helped launch one of the most important dialogues ignored by the citizenry — of one of the most powerful nations on Earth — which can only return to true greatness with a righteous and honest discussion of this issue — not by prosecuting a whistle-blower and sweeping him under the rug with a cookie-cutter determination of “treason.”
Going to the press is not treason; erecting a secret extra-legal spying and foreign-ally-undermining network of non-constitutional actions… perhaps should be.
Edward Snowden did not reveal the classified information he felt morally compelled to as an American — to a foreign enemy… or with the intent to harm the American government or American citizens; he gave his information carefully and with admonishments of caution to western journalists Glenn Greenwald (a former arch conservative) and the Guardian: these and other news entities shared it with the public, whom Snowden knew deserved this information… as they who financed it had fallen unwitting victim of it and its programs. So, Snowden is in trouble, but what about the press?
Why is Snowden the only one who has fallen out of graces with the US government when the information about the offending government agencies was released by The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Glenn Greenwald? And why have you forgotten him when he has given up everything for you?
If — like many people — you cognitively dissuade yourself (accidently or deliberately) from seeing what the main concerns of Snowden were, consider this:
1. Pay attention to what Snowden said were the greatest dangers of these extra-legal programs; hint: look at who our new president is.
2. Think of Watergate and…
3. Think of this last election.
4. Think of what Snowden said had become the aim of these programs and what the excuse is;
5. Think of what we had done to Japan with these programs, and remember: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton