American Elephants

Where Has All the Trust Gone? Long Time Passing. by The Elephant's Child

Should the NSA “Whistleblower” go to jail? Of course. He signed contracts that guaranteed he would not release secret information under penalty of law. It’s that simple. If he believes there is actually something wrong in the agency in which he works, he is obliged to go to the inspector general for that agency.

Edward Snowden is a high school dropout, but later got a GED, a junior college dropout, an Army dropout after he broke his legs in a training accident, yet he was stationed by the CIA with diplomatic cover in Geneva in 2007, with widespread access to classified documents.  That access, and less than three years of being around CIA officers, made him question U.S. government surveillance policies.

After that he worked as a private contractor at an NSA facility in Japan, then as a private contractor with Booz-Hamilton, a private contractor for NSA in Hawaii, at a salary of around $200,000, from whom he requests leave to cope with his epilepsy. So he encamps for Hong Cong from where he reveals his government secrets to London’s Guardian newspaper.

He says he admires other accused leakers of government secrets such as Private Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, but considers himself different. His admiration does not speak well for him.

“I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he told the Guardian. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

This doesn’t add up. What kind of sloppy government hiring and assignments put an Army private or a high school dropout in positions where they have the capacity to steal important national security secrets?

Is the NSA doing something dastardly? Were it not for the incredible malfeasance in the IRS and the clumsy attempts to cover up, the targeting of innocent American citizens who just happened to disagree with the administration, the clumsy efforts to denigrate the opposition just before an election, we might not think so. Who knows?

We have an implacable enemy in Radical Islam. The president wants us to think that al Qaeda has been decimated, but this is not true. The president seems to want us to accept the idea that Iran having nuclear capability is not a big deal. The Secretary of State is arming Egypt’s Radical Islam, pledging to round up $4 billion for them from who knows whom? I will agree that it is quite essential to know what conversations or correspondence is going on between people in the United States and those in suspected locations who wish us ill. But there’s some sloppy thinking here.

Oddly, the Democrats seem far more excited about the idea that the government would monitor phone records or computer records far more troubling than the activities of the IRS in attacking conservative groups for disagreeing with the administration.  I guess the idea that a Republican administration might use the IRS against them does not occur, or more likely, they are fairly confident that Republicans wouldn’t do such a thing, and that is probably correct.

President Barack O’Blameless has hauled out his usual straw men—setting up questions that no one has asked— to assure everyone that he is indeed blameless, and gone out to hit the golf course. But the scandals are too big, too ugly, the lies pile up, and millions have been expended for no reason except the political advantage of the president and his party.

That’s not what the American people signed up for.  Americans don’t like being lied to, and they want to have some kind of trust in their government. That has been destroyed.

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