Edward Snowden has revealed a bombshell that is literally rocking the world as we speak and testing relations between supposed International “allies” and the trust issues that may come from this revelation. The United States spy agency the NSA (National Security Agency) has recently been revealed to have tapped the phones of about 35 world leaders, many of which were supposed “allies” of the United States. To understand the extent of this spying a recent example really gives away the expansive network of this spying and how it really effects the globe at a grass root level. In Spain the US agency tapped over 60 million phone calls in one month alone.
US President Obama has been defending his position in trying to proclaim his innocence yet he uses language that indicates a “review” of the NSA spy agency, speaking in a future tense in regards to settling the issue without outwardly and purely denying the spying had occurred or even if he knew about it or not. Besides it is far fetched to believe the President of the United states had “no idea” his National Security Agency was spying on quite literally the entire globe for 5 years, it’d take a gullible Greg to believe that.
The scary thing about this spy program is that it appears nobody is spared, whether civilian or high end respected politician, you are being listened to and monitored by foreign intelligence systems. For example German Chancellor Angela Merkel has had her mobile phone tapped for a number of years and this revelation by Snowden led her to immediately contact President Obama and admonish him for such a breach of privacy. In response Germany has labelled their strong relationship with the United States to be “shaken“.
Now before perhaps i am labelled a prude about the concept of spying, which i believe to be somewhat a natural phenomenon that occurs around the world, my biggest problem with the NSA style of spying is the excuses that it makes to pardon such detailed and non specific targeting of “suspects”. I understand, nations have been spying on each other for many centuries and indeed sometimes they even spy on their allies yet usually the level of spying is severely restricted and is only an option that is tangible to a very enclosed network of people who are, for the most part- worth spying on.
Yet the NSA makes a very disturbing excuse in attempting to justify its universal twisted branches of spying that doesn’t discriminate nor does it seem to have any relevant tactical meaning behind it. You guessed it, the “war on terror” was used as a plug to allow such widespread spying and many people are gullible enough to accept such a reason, because lets face it ever since the September 11th Attacks many people have willingly sacrificed their rights and privacy in the name of “security” so much so that people are willing to strip bare to prove to their government that indeed, they are one of the “Good Guys”.
This is further supported by comments made by Republican Rep Michele Bachmann, who supported the NSA’s intense level of spying by playing along with the narrative by saying “I believe that we need to win the War on Terror.” She continued by stating “It will be those who are seeking to achieve the goals of Islamic jihad who will benefit by putting the United States at risk, and it will be the United States which will be at risk.” Now one must beg the question, how long are people going to milk the “War on Terror”? So long as the fearful public stand behind those patriotic chants then indeed, people will willingly submit themselves to the spy machine the NSA.
Now let us all deal with the facts on the likelihood of an American dying from a terrorist attack on American soil, well the latest statistics suggests that Honey Bees kill more Americans than terrorists. Not to mention an American dying from a fall is 404 times more likely than dying from a terrorist attack and President Obama himself stated that “The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident” in a recent interview with talk show host Jay Leno. Now to really seal the deal on how unlikely it is for an American to be killed by a terrorist on American soil it appears that on average more toddlers kill Americans than terrorists in the average year, at least if 2013 thus far is worth taking a look at. Time Magazine also placed the odds of an American dying in a terror attack between 2007-2011 as 1 in 20 million.
Forgive how ridiculous this sounds but these are statistics, real numbers and actual facts that people need to do a double take on, because they conflict with our idea of terrorism and it shatters our media frenzied brains that are more than certain that terrorism is a real threat to our lives and security. We know for a fact, there are no wars on honey bees, falls, car accidents or toddlers so the supposed “War on Terror” is like fuel making war with a fire, it is not an instrument to fix the problem but in fact alleviates an issue to an even bigger one!
The Notion that people must allow spy agencies to actively pursue all that they do in order to protect them is a gross exaggeration. The fact that the people getting spied on are by no means candidates for terror makes their excuse even weaker. Unless the USA is convinced that their own friends and allies are potential terrorists then they surely have some explaining to do. I understand that a countries security is imperative and that every nation has the right to keep itself and its citizens protected, yet it becomes a puzzle when the citizens and officials of other nations are also being spied upon who tend to have no relation to terror or violence.
It becomes even a bigger issue when people are expected, for national security to give up their rights and willingly accept the fact that they must live in a Big Brother bubble to live a life of security and peace, this is a clear fabrication because as we know it, we are much more likely to die in a whole grandstand of other ways and yet the government doesn’t desire to access our private lives to protect us from them, yet suddenly when the word “terror” comes in to place the government is more than certain that many brainwashed weak minded people will shake at the knees and comply willingly to live in such a way that their life is one big Truman Show.
I think revelations like this break the “Conspiracy” theory away that we are too paranoid about our privacy and that we base very little trust on governments, this turns a supposed conspiracy into fact. The NSA is a spy agency supported by the US government that has spied on sovereign independent nations and its people whether they are held under suspicion of terror or not, whether they are every day people like you and i or high end government officials. It traces calls, reads your emails, follows you to your places of worship and monitors your move and this is no James Bond piece of fiction but is in fact truth.
As for Whistle-blower Edward Snowden himself is he to be seen as a true patriot for the American people and their security, or is he a trouble maker that has only further endangered American lives? It depends who you ask, but one thing is for certain, such information is a fundamental right of the people. We as citizens have every right to know who were are monitored by, when and most importantly WHY. Snowden may have helped nations damage relations to the United States but perhaps it was a wake-up call to the world, who are our real “allies”. To me, making excuses for this spy agency is like making excuses for the overprotective boyfriend that searches his girlfriends phone, follows her in his car and interrogates her without an evidence of any wrongdoing, will we support the bully?
I think Edward Snowden is a hero. Unfortunately for many people they enjoy having the wool pulled over their eyes and whilst they have an inkling; a feeling that their governments are on their trail they just don’t want to know. It is comforting for us to believe our governments are doing “something” to ensure our safety and security, yet when that something comes at the price of our own privacy and fringes on our rights then it leads some people to start making excuses for their government. Hence why we see the government using the magic words so soon, we must spy on you and the world because of the “War On Terror”- pardon me but that is so 2002, is it not about time the American Government was honest to its people and the world? Why not just admit that its worldwide spy program is just one to ensure dominance and control?
The United States has been on a power trip for so long and with rising powers like India (one of the most spied on countries), China and Russia indeed the only security they tend to care about is their own faltering ego. The Eagle is slowly being put back into its cage and this is worrying. It appears it is time to make some new friends (Iran) , shake the hands of old enemies (Russia) and tactfully attempt to stay atop of the leader board all for the sake of “Pride and Joy”. Edward Snowden, according to the government is a criminal who broke the “Espionage Act” who is need of some jail time. To me, the truth hurts, reality bites and one man was capable of bringing a government to its knees in front of its “allies” who are suddenly launching a tirade of anger towards it. The sad fact is the American public has turned on Snowden with many supporting criminal charges against him, yet the question shouldn’t be is “Was what he did Legal?” – instead the question should be is “Was what he did right?” and i’d say YES!