On October 26th, I attended a rally sponsored by the Stop Watching Us coalition to protest against the huge spying apparatus that the United States Government has created since 9/11. It was a great rally, filled with intelligent and well-informed people of many different political persuasions. But did it really do anything?
The answer to that is yes and no. Yes, in terms of showing that we can be organized in our resistance but rallies are mainly a show for the media and little more. Still, with Glenn Greenwald and others strategically releasing these news stories and keeping things current, its very likely that real reform is possible but it won’t be easy. In fact, I feel as if change is something that will have to ultimately be coerced. As any student of history knows, when huge power is acquired it is very difficult to get that power back by any means other then force. This is not to suggest that there will be a revolt based on Edward Snowden’s revelations, however I do see this as a destabilizing factor not only for the world community, but for the United States Government itself, which has remained insulated from public opinion do to media control.
But how can people effectively organize resistance when the powers-that-be are watching your every communication? Obviously it presents major difficulties for anybody who is willing and able to use peaceful civil disobedience as a tactic. It brings to mind Occupy Wall Street and the difficulties that it had with the NYPD. If there is any hope, it lies in these kinds of protests combined with effective political diplomacy.
I don’t really have the answers has to how it will all turn out but I think that, if anything, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden have proven that information can be used as a political weapon and that even while all our communications can be spied on, we are watching our government just as much as they are watching us.
I would like to hear from my readers. Do you have a response to this post? Let me know through the comments.
While casually browsing the news channels, I noticed a disturbing trend: the coverage of the latest NSA revelations were simultaneously being “analyzed” by Alan Dershowitz on CNN and Peter King on MSNBC. Both of these “analysts” were giving the establishment opinion and seemed to downplay the significance of these revelations, even defending the NSA to some extent, especially King. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, however, Americans are more likely to be opposed to the Surveillance apparatus rather than be supportive of it. So why then are these networks not at least presenting a more balanced view?
To those of us who have been following politics for awhile, this may seem a stupid question. The fact is that these media giants are owned and run as a kind of government/corporate propaganda machine. I have long since accepted this fact, but I still watching CNN especially now and then, not for their “thoughtful analysis” but rather to see how the government plans to screw us this week. In a weird way, it reminds me of the fifth book of Harry Potter when Hermione reads the Daily Prophet even though she knows its propaganda. She wanted to know what the enemy was saying. Similar if Obama was a psychopathic, evil wizard which–who knows–maybe he is.
But I digress: the “Mainstream Media” can hardly be called mainstream any longer. It’s views and opinions which it espouses are simply not in line with ordinary working people of America, or at least as far as the Spying Apparatus is concerned.
The only question now is what will be the last straw?
“I put that program in place to protect the country. One of the certainties was that civil liberties were guaranteed,” Bush told CNN in an interview airing Monday. “I think there needs to be a balance, and as the president explained, there is a proper balance.”
Yeah it’s okay everyone. George W. Bush, our benevolent leader, has just told us that programs that spy on every single American indiscriminately, are good because he put it in place to protect us.
One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.
On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.
This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.
For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
In every article that I read (or try to read) about the NSA leaks from the mainstream press, there is always a distinct focus on Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke the story, or Edward Snowden the whistle blower. Very rarely is there an article where the fact that billions of phone calls and internet metadata are being monitored is the focal point. Where are the articles that talk about this massive intrusion on our constitutional rights?
I think its becoming more apparent how corrupt our media is, especially with these revelations. It’s almost sickening to watch the news nowadays, especially in regards to the NSA leaks. The mainstream media’s attempt to shift the public focus from the leaks themselves to the leaker is absolutely appalling. It just seems to go hand-in-hand with the popular theory, largely true, that CNN, MSNBC, FOX, New York Times, USA Today, etc. are in bed with government.
My advice to those reading is to look for alternative news outlets and, if you must view/read mainstream press, to do so with the knowledge that these people are not in the business of giving you the news but of manipulating the information.
“They should pay a price, either diplomatic, economic, geopolitical, for doing what they did. They’re always putting their finger in our eye,” said Schumer on “Fox News Sunday,” arguing for repercussions against Russia.
So what are we going to do? Go to war with Russia over an American Hero in Edward Snowden? Does that sound like bullshit to you?
This whole ridiculous attempt to point the blame at Edward Snowden for something the Schumer’s and the McCain’s of this world did knowingly is disgusting. All Americans should be angry about this. The NSA has been spying on every American indiscriminately for years, lying to the American people, screaming terrorist against anyone who opposed them. Does that not sound like bullshit to you?
Okay as soon I read about this, I knew I had to give my two cents.
If you are a regular reader of this blog then chances are you probably know what I’m about to say which is that this is a load of donkey crap. Well, maybe not in those exact words, but still…
Obviously this is an attempt to quell any other potential whistle blowers, although I’m not convinced that this will necessarily stop them. In fact, it may just make them more curious and–in the best case scenario– more angry.
Not only is this act of censorship by the army immoral it is also idiotic. The fact that we have to hide from our soldiers what our government is doing to American citizens is absolutely repugnant. There is a word for that and it’s called ‘fascism’.
Obviously the military is sending a clear message it’s soldiers: “Hey guys! Yeah, I know you volunteered to help defend American democracy anymore but–eh–we can’t trust you with any information. Sorry!”
Apparently, according to this article, this is not something that is unusual. We will see if this creates an even bigger scandal…