Remember when conservative bloggers first started warning us about the super secret NSA data center being built in Utah? The warnings that the NSA was going to be able to capture and store all cell phone calls and all e-mails and virtually anything that took place on the World Wide Web. We were told that our government would know everything about every citizen; that there would be no more reasonable expectation of privacy, in spite of our constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The usual voices called the people making these warnings “conspiracy theorist” and paranoid wackos. Then a low-level NSA contract employee, Edward Snowden, spilled the beans on the NSA’s activities. Depending on one’s point of view, Mr. Snowden is a traitor or a legitimate whistle-blower and some would even say he is a hero. Whatever Snowden is, his revelations have ignited a bipartisan outrage across the country. Our government, of course, tried to cover it all up. President Obama lied to us about what he knew. Par for the course. National Security Director Clapper lied about the NSA data collection and then admitted that he lied. No surprise there either.
Has anyone been fired over these illegal acts? Don’t be silly. Has the NSA stopped spying on American citizens? Of course not. They have the technology and they will use it. They won’t even try to put the genie back in the bottle. Congress could pass laws against collecting all this data; but what real good would it do, if the NSA keeps lying to us and to Congress. No one will know unless another Edward Snowden comes forward.
In the last few weeks, Mr. Snowden has spilled some more of his beans. (He must have a very large can of beans!) Now we know that the NSA isn’t just spying on Americans; it is spying on the world! Mexico is outraged and demanding an explanation President Obama. So to is Brazil, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. This Fox News story reports that the NSA monitored 35 world leaders. In every case when one of these world leaders has called President Obama on the carpet, he has lied to them. Lying is our President’s modus operandi. Another Fox News article reports on an article in the Economic Times:
The Economic Times writes the “high-ranking” NSA official spoke to Bild am Sonntag on the condition of anonymity, saying the president, “not only did not stop the operation, but he also ordered it to continue.”
The Economic Times also reports the official told Bild am Sonntag that Obama did not trust Merkel, wanted to know everything about her, and thus ordered the NSA to prepare a dossier on the politician.
It is now being reported that Germany and Brazil are backing a UN resolution against excessive spying. Yeah, that will scare off the Americans, right? Not likely when this report say the NSA has even bugged the UN headquarters.
All countries, for national security reasons, have their spies and intelligence gathering services, If they would stick to sniffing out the bad guys, no one would be worried. But obviously the NSA and the US government are gathering information on anyone and everyone. Anyone using the World Wide Web to communicate is exposed to the NSA spying. That means people inside and outside of our government and any other government. The potential to use this information to blackmail government officials or a business executive or any individual is palpable. Does anyone believe that the information on the extra-marital affair of CIA Director Petraeus was obtained legally? One has to wonder how many of the Generals that President Obama has purged since he has been in office was facilitated by information gathered by the NSA? Could a president with NSA data “persuade” a Congressman or Sneator to vote the way the president wanted? Could an NSA Director blackmail a president? Think J. Edgar Hoover on steroids.
It use to be that the spies of the world were on a pretty even playing. The big boys all had the same technology, more or less. Today, I don’t think any country can match the United States in its capacity to spy. One reason is that Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are American companies and their managements are cooperating with the NSA’s spying. That gives the US quite an edge over the rest of the world.
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is here. The reasonable expectation of privacy is but a quaint concept of a bygone day. If you want your communications to be private, you had better look for a very low technology way to communicate. People may even have to consider talking to one another face to face. Imagine that!
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?