Snowden cartoon header

looks like we will be needing more snowdens

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (July 19, 2013) and a piece ti­tled “U.S. Of­fi­cials says NSA taking steps to stop leaks” (page A2): an AP ar­ticle ac­knowl­edges that “The in­for­ma­tion re­vealed [by Ed­ward Snowden] that the agency was gath­ering mil­lions of US phone records and in­ter­cepting some US In­ternet traffic.” Which, if you care about gov­ern­ment transparency—an ab­surd ex­pec­ta­tion to many—then it looks like we will be needing more Snow­dens.

“Deputy De­fense Sec­re­tary Ashton Carter said sys­tems ad­min­is­tra­tors like Snowden must now work with a col­league when ac­cessing sen­si­tive, com­part­mented intelligence—the kind Snowden leaked to the media. The in­for­ma­tion re­vealed that the agency was gath­ering mil­lions of U.S. phone records and in­ter­cepting some U.S. In­ternet traffic.”

I know of no one, De­mo­crat or Re­pub­lican or Lib­er­tarian or Green—NO ONE!—who wants their phone calls and emails “in­ter­cepted” by a gov­ern­ment intelligence-gathering agency.

The ar­ticle notes that the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency is im­ple­menting new se­cu­rity mea­sures to try to pre­vent more dis­clo­sures of ques­tion­able ac­tiv­i­ties like those that Snowden re­vealed to the world.

Uh uh! That’s the OPPOSITE of what should occur in a democ­racy: the NSA should be an­nouncing new poli­cies to pre­vent those ques­tion­able ac­tiv­i­ties so that fu­ture Snow­dens are un­nec­es­sary!

Be­cause it looks like we will be needing more Snow­dens.

Of course, I ain’t gonna hold my breath waiting for that kinda turn­around …

HEADER IMAGE: The car­toon at the top of this page is by Olle Jo­hansson.


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What is most wor­ri­some is that the phone calls are gath­ered by a pri­vate com­pany Booz Allen Hamilton which is owned by the Car­lyle Group. Booz Allen has the phone calls but they only hand over the meta­data to the NSA.

So we’re paying top dollar to these pri­vate com­pa­nies that have no real al­le­giance to the U.S. (Bin Laden family are part owners of the Car­lyle Group) to spy on Amer­i­cans. Nice.

Let’s re­turn to gov­ern­ment run op­er­a­tions where workers make a living wage and have a vested in­terest in the wel­fare our our country.

Talk about “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” - Snowden may have broken the law, but he pro­vided Amer­i­cans with mind-boggling, and I’d go so far as to in­clude scary, in­for­ma­tion.