Snow Job

I don’t agree with the espionage charge against Edward Snowden. His release of classified information, information that is not purported to be particularly important but does confirm what we’ve suspected all along, the US government utilizes the means at its disposal to spy on its own citizens. I don’t care much whether it’s meta-beta-theta or pig latin,  it’s still spying and it’s wrong.

Snowden is articulate. You know how I feel about that. I’m an intellect groupie. I can’t help myself. Snowden is self-possesed, calm, and intelligent. He has convictions. If he sold whatever it is he has to the Chinese, Japanese, or little green men from outer space he’s no different than the elected elite, selling our security for their own enrichment.  He didn’t tell us anything we haven’t known all along, what he did was tell us in a way that engaged our full attention for longer than a sound bite.

Meanwhile, Bradley Manning’s court martial continues and he is being nominated for a Nobel. I wrote about Bradley Manning in April 2012. I have since changed my opinion and believe that I was wrong to allow myself to be led as a part of bovine nation (my apologies to the stately cow) to the trough of government propaganda where I swallowed every word the media fed me.

In other news, Jeffrey Skilling the former Enron CEO had his sentence reduced by 10 years down to 14.

American Justice, the oxymoron that destroyed a society.

About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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11 Responses to Snow Job

  1. This is a tough one. But I don’t think he is as close to a whistle-blower as he is a traitor. I’m not saying he was wrong. But if you take an oath to keep secrets for the Government, you can’t just discard that. It’s not like he was an investigative journalist that went undercover. He was being paid to do a job that he wasn’t supposed to talk about. If everybody did that just because they knew something that they thought should be public knowledge, it would be pretty hard to run a country. There have to be some secrets.

    • elroyjones says:

      Are you referring to Snowden, Manning or both?
      I agree that there have to be some secrets but I also think we’re on dangerous ground with expanded government power in the Patriot Act. I wonder if both have been subjects of disinformation campaigns. Your thoughts and comments are welcomed and encouraged.

      • I know this is a gray area. I don’t support what the government is doing. But people can’t pick and choose what they want to keep secret if they work for the government. I am talking about Snowden. I don’t remember the other one. But I hate it when religious people pick some rules to be all holier than thou about but ignore and even break others. So I think I should keep the same standard about people who leak government secrets. I see the position he was in, having this knowledge and not being able to tell people. What he did was noble and brave. But it was still technically treason as well. It can be both.

      • elroyjones says:

        I understand your position. It’s a complex issue because on one hand there is the oath but on the other there is duplicity. It’s like demanding, “If I tell you something you have to promise not to get mad and not to tell anyone”…easy to promise but hard to keep. I felt the same way about Bradley Manning/UCMJ and Wikileaks in the beginning but have since changed my mind because I can’t trust the government’s information and its improper use of the media. If you and I can’t quite decide which position to take on this, imagine what the rest of the country is thinking. We are so screwed.

      • The hard part is remaining unbiased. It is easy to say, ‘hey, I like that this guy leaked this info’ when it is info that you think the government shouldn’t keep secret. But what happens when it is info that should be kept quiet? It all boils down to the loyalties of the person involved. If a guy working for the British intelligence during the war leaked info on the D-day landings, it is easy to say he was a traitor if you were British. But what if his mother was German? What if he just believed in Hitler? He would still be a hero to the Germans. It is all a matter of perspective.

      • elroyjones says:

        Perspective is the essence of it. I believed that I would see the end of nefarious cloak and dagger intrigue in my lifetime.
        It is troubling that government has the ability and will to abuse its power, that Snowden is charged with treason while W. and Cheney enjoy the spoils of an unjustified war without the threat of treason charges and prison.

      • It is the times we live in. Say what you want about the Nazis, but at least we were fighting a society. Most of them wore uniforms. Not the spies obviously, but they weren’t the combat troops. We are now fighting a movement, a mindset, a belief system. That is much harder to do. We have been forced to give up some of our most cherished freedoms and some of the things we were most proud of… like the moral high ground. As much as I hate Cheney and Bush for the torture thing, and the unjust wars, I can see how the decision to start trying to gather as much intelligence as possible, even by dubious methods, came about.

      • elroyjones says:

        I agree it’s understandable. I hope that in the end we are not fighting each other, which is of course exactly what is happening. Sigh.

  2. Peggy says:

    Saw a great movie over the weekend called God Bless America. It’s brutal in a very good way. I suggest everyone watch it.
    Article in last week’s New Yorker on privacy. As you mentioned, this is NOT a secret. The gov’t has been doing it in the open for years. We simply don’t care because it’s not about us personally. We don’t care what happens to our fellow Americans as long as we aren’t bothered by it.

    • elroyjones says:

      Yes, please do not bother me. I don’t want to get involved because it may be a huge inconvenience and delay my trip to Walmart.
      Snowden’s probably drinking vodka as we speak. I talked with a conspiracy theorist who suggested Snowden is a CIA operative, illustrating how terribly bad it can be for people to blow the whistle, implementing an elaborate plan for crowd control. He’s becoming a modern day Man Without a Country.
      In what seemed to be an effort to discredit him there was initial attention paid to his GED and then his curtailed enlistment. Ironic, when you consider the biggest traitor in US history went to an Ivy League school and spent the Vietnam War stateside in the National Guard.

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