Subject: NSA Spying
I'm not sure Snowden is a hero...it's complicated, but hopefully I won't need much <snippage>:
The FISA-approved spying was legal. This isn't Watergate, and this isn't Bradley Manning.
Those incidents were actual crimes, so Snowden was just airing out the dirty laundry - if somebody can point
to a crime being committed under the FISA rulings and USA PATRIOT Act, then they should speak up. (crickets)
Once I got over my usual irritation at the hypocrisy of the folks who want to be spied upon by the (white)
people (men) they trust, but are going completely apeshit (not really) about Obama doing it, I realized that this
might actually be a good thing. It is a very strange way to go about it, but Obama is basically in the position to
be able to say, "You all bitch and moan about secrecy and transparency, let's make sure this kind of thing never
happens again. Let's make it illegal."
That way, regardless of the POTUS at the time (imagine Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney having this power),
we may be able to implement checks and balances on it. Of course, that may just be too complicated...
it's more likely that we will just be stuck with the spying, there's too much money in it.
Where were all these people back in 2002? One thing the BFEE was able to accomplish, over the years,
was privatizing key parts of the Congressional Military Industrial Complex. We got Blackwater/Xe and Halliburton.
The TIA (Total Information Awareness) http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2002/12/56860 program of
convicted felon John Pointdexter met with resistance, so it was farmed out to companies working for the NSA.
The NSA has 20,000 employees - but I'm sure that extends beyond their doors...so, instead of big government,
we have big data - and corporations, led by idealogues, are feeding that data to the NSA. I wonder who else
might be able to use the non-terrorist dirt they dig up?
When Obama reauthorized parts of the Patriot Act, he did what any sensible person in power would do when
confronted with rabid dogs - he held on to his power. Now that there's public outcry, he can expose what's
been going on...and with our ADHD public, maybe something will resonate that they talk themselves into
circles to make this illegal in the future. Everyone was OK with it before the black guy, I've literally read
Teabagger comments on Facebook saying that it was OK under Bush, but it was never meant to be like
Obama's using it...with that kind of "patriot," who stands a chance at turning this around?
Terrorism, IMO, has very little to do with it. There are so many layers to this program, that I don't think
Obama has the power to stop it. I also don't think that he's in control...there are others who are working
through all of the data mining and I doubt we're dealing with competent people who can report up a
concise/clear/relevant analysis of the data - more likely, there are true believers acting as moles, trying to
gather dirt on their political foes - and that type of politics isn't usually typical of the Democratic Party
(it requires a spine and an agenda).
Well, rambling's over - Snowden ain't no Bradley Manning.
He didn't expose a crime, he just pointed out that the black guy is doing
what you suspected has been going on all along, and how do you like that?