|Edward Snowden For his sake, we better hope he doesn't look anything like this now.|
My heart breaks for Edward Snowden, and for his family. Most Americans, when they hear the entire story, are synpathetic toward him, and not for the Obama Regime, which is seen by more and more Americans as dark and shadowy, much like the segment of the government who developed the Treadstone project in the Bourne Identity series. Many people I know are calling Snowden a hero, a true patriot of the internet age, if in fact, all we are being told is true.
As a mother of children in their twenties, my heart breaks for him. Snowden is a twenty-nine year old man. He was originally a high school drop out who parlayed his obvious intelligence and computer skills, into a career in a time when those with advanced degrees can't find work, into a highly lucrative job as an infrastructure analyst for a US government contractor. . Some sources say he was making more than one hundred and twenty-two thousand dollars a year. He had a lovely girlfriend and a rented home in Hawaii. He also had a rather high security clearance. Much has been made by mainstream media of this man's lack of collegiate education, but as a college instructor I can tell you that to be as successful as this man was, you would need to be very intelligent indeed. Research indicates that he took six years of computer classes at Ann Arundel Community College, and simply did not apply for graduation. The value of many community colleges is obvious as illustrated in this matter, but of course now, the Obama Regime is likely to be monitoring all community colleges now as a hotbed of defiance, employing scores of NSA agents.
Edward Snowden apparently became disillusioned with his high level government job and revealed that he is actually a true patriot. He apparently listened and read the Constitution, and he knows not only what it says, but how it is being sidestepped. He expressed his concerns to UK Guardian. In explanation, these are the things he is alleged to have said:
#1 "The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate."
#2 "...I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents."
#3 "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to."
#4 "...I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
#5 "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything."
#6 "With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards."
#7 "Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President..."
#8 "To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that's the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so."
#9 "I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians."
#10 "...they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them."
#11 "Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. ...it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life."
#12 "Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest."
#13 "Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state."
#14 "I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."
#15 "I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
#16 "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong."
#17 "I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act."
#18 "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."
#19 "The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things... And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that... because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."
#20 "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
#21 "You can't come up against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk."
#22 "I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me."
#23 "We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."
#24 "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end."
#25 "There’s no saving me."
#26 "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night."
#27 "I do not expect to see home again." ***
What breaks my heart is that this man was one of the best and the brightest who understood the concept of what America is supposed to be. By sharing this information with the UK Guardian, he did begin a dialogue worldwide concerning whether we wish to live in a surveillance state for the purpose of avoiding a few terrorist acts. However, he does expect, from his commentary, to be killed by our government for this, and he could be right, knowing more about its workings lately than the rest of us do.
The saddest thing to me is that Edward Snowden's courage will not be used in the future as a future Steve Jobs, a future Congressman, a future Governor, or in another role while requires intestinal fortitude and great courage. At a time in US history when we need patriots and men with both courage and vision, he will spend his remaining days running from our governmental officials, as they scramble to discredit what he says, his intellect, and his sanity. He cannot contact his parents, because the same US machine who monitors all of our communications, is monitoring his parent's phones and e-mail addresses also.
I cannot condone the leaks perpetrated by Julian Assange and I have not read them. My concern is that he endangered those who were working for the US in other nations. However, I can't say that I am completely unsympathetic to Edward Snowden. To him, all he did was trade his life and his future to sound the gong in advance of the death knell for the United States as we knew it.
The best thing the United States can do is completely dismantle the Prism system which monitors all US communications. They need to admit that the Constitution grants us the right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not guarantee a safe world, or a completely safe nation.
*** These quotes were found at