Unless you’ve been disconnected from all forms of news media for the past few weeks you’ve undoubtedly heard the name “Edward Snowden”. Edward Snowden is an American former technical contractor and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), before becoming disgruntled with his role and leaking details of a classified NSA mass surveillance program collectively called “Prism” to the international media. Snowden has recently been officially charged with Espionage by the United States government and faces the threat of arrest and almost certain lengthy imprisonment if apprehended. It is suspected that he is currently in hiding somewhere in Hong Kong. Snowden joins the ranks of Julian Assange as someone who has exposed the screaming hypocrisy and downright criminality of the United States administration. On that note and before I go any further I should clarify that I have no quarrel with the people of America and that my enemy is a notion, not a nation.
It’s not gone unnoticed that since 9/11 there has been a steady revocation of the bill of rights embedded into American society, rights that men and women in the country and the wider world have fought to uphold for over two hundred years. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the constitution, which safeguard US citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have now been obliterated. If the infamous Patriot Act was anything to go on, then Prism is merely the evolution of what the United States is striving towards: a surveillance state that George Orwell envisioned. Prism has been covertly gathering information from not only US citizens but from European citizens since 2007, information harvested from our telephone calls, internet searches, and from our financial dealings.
To fight the “War On Terror”.
Give me a f***ing break. Stop using “The War on Terror”, a completely redundant war in itself, as an excuse for cutting our own civil liberties and rights. How the f**k is monitoring civilian activity, the OVERWHELMING majority of whom have never even harmed a single person, going to prevent future terrorist attacks? Attacks that you, the US government, have been proven to be negligent in preventing in the first place when you had adequate information? Make no mistake here: this information, a small amount of which can be used to protect us, will not be honestly discarded once the ‘looming threat’ of terrorism has subsided. No, it will be used and will be continued to be gathered in order to streamline consumerism and erase all forms of subversion.
This is why Edward Snowden went public about the criminal activities of our governments, and is exactly why we need to collectively support him and all others like him like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.
Granted, the United States is not a proper police state, at least not yet. However, the extent of this latest invasion of people’s privacy has proven that our ‘guardians’ do indeed have the electronic and legislative infrastructure to implement such a state if they wanted to. If, and to use a radical example here, there was a war in the near future (say against Iran) that led to a large-scale anti-war movements such as the ones seen in American with regards to Vietnam or worse still and highly more likely, if the west suffered one more terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 (false flag or otherwise), I can forsee more rights being stripped away in the name of security and if that happens I really do fear for democracy. The powers that have been flaunted by the American government are frankly terrifying, more terrifying that anything Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein could have ever mustered. People need to be made aware of this as an informed and educated society is harder to govern than one that is paralyzed by fear.
Edward Snowden went public because he recognised the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they really are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This criminal invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our collective security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect. There is almost an element of great irony to this whole saga, to the flimsy “War on Terror”. We have sent soldiers, good men and women, overseas to fight to preserve our rights when in reality all of what they fight for is being undone whilst they are out of the house.