I have so many conflicting thoughts on Edward Snowden and the leaks from from the National Security Agency.
I think, Edward Snowden is a hero whistle blower and we need more people like him. I also think Edward Snowden seems sort of nuts and it is scary that people like him are able to get $200,000 per year jobs – supposedly – to protect us when they can’t even get themselves through Highschool.
I worry that this huge domestic spying regime is threatening our democracy. But I know that the government has been tracing our calls – duh! hasn’t anyone seen The Wire – for a long time, so what else is new? Sure, Snowden broke the law and abused the government’s trust in giving him a Security Clearance. But, he released information that everybody already knows, so No harm, no foul (and, lets face it, Google already knows all this information about me, or anybody who uses the internet for that matter).
And on and on.
Circling around behind all these thoughts – thoughts, bouncing around like a ping pong ball in a garbage disposal – is the awareness that the government is becoming stronger and more invasive and the people in power often puts their own interest above that of the People’s interest. And behind that, is the fear that Obama is worse than Bush in this regard or – atleast – has continued Bush’s polices and is more zealous in going after the whistle blowers. I am afraid that his promise of Transparency – that I so resonated with during the campaign – has been co-opted by the, increasingly, powerful Security State.
I also wonder what good this massive security apparatus is doing if they couldn’t even flush out a couple of amateurs like the Tsarnaev brothers who said they were Chechen and got the plans to their bomb from an internet site published by al-Qaeda in Yemen. Why weren’t their emails and searches picked up?
As my thoughts calm down, I realize that I am less concerned with the fact that we – my country – is wiretapping than the Administration’s reaction to the whistle blower. And that really boils down to What does Obama want to do and what does the Security Establishment want him to do?