Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Edward Snowden And The NSA

It's sort of old news now, but Edward Snowden manages to keep spilling the beans on everything secret the NSA/USA does from his hidey hole in Russia. From the warrant-less wiretapping, to gathering of meta-data, to chips installed in intercepted computers, people are literally freaking out over how much power the United States has given its intelligence community to operate both domestically and abroad. And it should concern you, as your average citizen more than likely would never have approved of such government overreach.

The thing is, Snowden's revelations weren't anything new, and they weren't anything particularly shocking.

Almost immediately after 9/11, when Bush Jr. was still occupying the White House, you may remember a bill being passed called the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, which SPECIFICALLY said that they would monitor your phone calls without warrants, and monitor international communications to attempt to preempt terrorist actions. Ten years later, I guess we forgot, and we needed Snowden to remind us that we're living in a police state.

Again, it's not new. You're just hearing about it again, since you didn't pay attention the first time.

Now, let's think long and hard about how your government has run away from you, while you let it.

You have literally given government this power. You voted in the congress and the president that passed the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. You told your representatives that it was more important that we never have to deal with a terrorist threat on US soil again, and you told them to do what ever it takes. So Bush did. He passed the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, founded the Department of Homeland Security, the National Intelligence Director umbrella position over all agencies, and began the Bush Doctrine of spying on other countries, our own citizens, and the suspension of habeas corpus. He began automating warfare by use of drones. He instituted a policy of 'do whatever it takes' to get information from suspected terrorists, thus we had the Abu Ghraib scandals, indefinite detentions and torture at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo), and still, you didn't raise a peep. You didn't prosecute Bush/Cheney for war crimes, because guess what? You don't have a case. You told your leaders you wanted this.

Do you know what any of that means? It means you gave up your rights, for security. You don't have them anymore. You gave power, to power, and now power is corrupt. What the fuck did you think was going to happen? Unicorns?

So after Bush was done playing president, we elected Obama, who is a Harvard Lawyer. Lawyers tend to follow the law - TO THE LETTER - and follow it he did. He's continued the provisions of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, attempted (and failed) to close Gitmo (some politicians would not want our precious country dirt soiled by the likes of the broken men at Gitmo in our pristine prisons), he's expanded on surveillance and made it more efficient, drone warfare has been expanded and rented out to any country who needs to kill their citizens rather than reconcile with them, and of course, everyone's favorite, he's given the NSA broad powers in regards to the meta-data it collects.

Again, you voted for this. You wanted this. And you are only NOW getting angry about it? America, you're ridiculous.

Ok, ok, so we've decided then that we DON'T want this? Let's go back to that pre-9/11 mentality then! Let's please get rid of the TSA (they really don't do much more than steal your Swiss Army Knife, molest your children, and collect paychecks anyway), that laughing stock the Department of Homeland Security, and neuter the NSA so it goes back to good old fashioned boots-on-the-ground spy work. That oughtta solve the problem, right? Wrong.

This was a Pandora's box, opened by Bush, and held open by Obama. The mere fact that we've crossed these lines is an all-or-nothing moment for America. She's committed now, full steam ahead. There is no going back. If we retreat, the world will swallow us up. If we stay the course, it just MIGHT let us live long enough to form a one-world-government (ahh come on, I'm kidding, but the joke should make you think) so we can all get along.

Do you see the problem though? The problem isn't that this is new, it's that it was a moment of choice for America to determine who it wants to be, and we made that irreversible decision.  We made the choice, as a country, that we'd prefer to be the safest place on the planet, at the cost of the world hating our fucking guts for it. We made the decision as a country to be the overlords of the planet. And now we're having buyers remorse.

Edward Snowden is not a hero. He's a kook who fancied himself a bit more important than he actually is. He's a liar who broke his oath to the country he pretended to serve, just to remind us of what we've done. He's a traitor living in another country, too afraid to face his actions at home. He has defected to Russia, our biggest rival next to China. Hell, I have the same job HE did (albeit not at the NSA) with access to shit loads of information, but would I ever DARE to leak ANY of it? Fuck no! IT admins have enough trust issues with our bosses as it is! Thanks a lot, jerkoff, you made MY job that much more difficult. All for what? A trip down memory lane?

America, if you want your rights back, if you want your privacy back... you have to kill the Internet.

You have to stop using Google, Facebook, and Twitter. The NSA isn't spying on you, you're making your lives public as fuck! When cops can just log onto Facebook and solve crimes now (because you stupidly posted a Youtube video of your caper), the NSA is not the problem. YOU ARE. You are voluntarily giving every iota of information about your life to corporations (who own the politicians, that own the government who runs the military, that dominates the planet - do you get it now??), and you're mad that the NSA has meta-data and the 'capability' to listen in on your phone calls or read your emails? They're the one agency that's PROTECTING YOU from terrorist attacks, while all of those other corporations are simply exploiting you and taking your money.

Fuck, we're stupid. And so is Edward Snowden. Idiot flushed his life down the toilet to tell you what you already should have known. And guess what? In a year or so, you'll stop caring. Now go back to your Facebook feed and tell the world what you think, so they can sell you crap.

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