Never before in the history of the U.S. Government has there ever been an urgency for the government to drastically change’s it’s ways. The latest warning signs of a government gone out of control is the continuing saga of Edward Snowden, the NSA intelligence officer responsible for the nations secret intelligence gathering by Booz-Allen, the private security firm he worked for.
On the surface, it appears that Snowden is a disillusioned intelligence officer that has become a traitor to his country, and has fled the country to avoid prosecution because of cowardice.
What Is Actually Going On?
To start with the obvious is the massive spying on ALL U.S. citizens, on everything from emails, to phone calls, to tweets. This latest act from the U.S. Government has chilled an entire population, including it’s U.S. allies. The ACLU has already filed a lawsuit against the U.S.Government, but any victory is tainted by the fact that our entire Supreme Court system appears to have been corrupted also. Numerous lawsuits have already been filed the last 2 years by journalists and organizations that stand for liberty, to include the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. The courts are continually ruling in favor of the U.S. Government, even though their acts clearly violate the U.S. Constitution. Only one lawsuit ruled in favor of The People, and that was last summer when Judge Forester of a New York Federal Court ruled the NDAA(National Defense Authorization Act of 2012) as unconstitutional. That only inflamed the White House, and President Obama immediately filed a petition in the lower courts to place an injunction on the ruling, which gives the U.S.Government continued authority to place any U.S. citizen in indefinite military custody. Read what happened in an earlier article on the the White House Fights U.S. Supreme Court Over Indefinite Military Detention.
According to Snowden, a huge danger is not just the massive spying on ordinary Americans, but it is the corruption that goes along with it. In the government’s attempts to hide it’s corruption, they will use this information to target, prosecute, and imprison, anyone who exposes them. They can piece together a picture of any person for the purpose of portraying that person as a terrorist, or anti-government anarchist, where they will use their new found legislation to legally arrest, detain, possibly torture, and then sentence them to lengthy prison terms.
How The Government Justifies Spying
One of the easiest ways for the government to justify spying is to simply deny it, as President Obama did in his recent speech. It is ludicrous to actually believe that they would spend billions of dollars on this surveillance system and then simply not use it. It begs the question of, why even have the system if you are not using it?
The other way is for the government to lie about it. The excuse that they are protecting U.S.citizens from terrorism is wearing thin. A vast majority of Americans are finally realizing that they are being duped into giving up their freedoms under the Constitution in the name of security. The terrorist threats that have been made public by the NSA director have been suspiciously made public only after the Edward Snowden leak, thus making the facts not very credible.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Eric Holder had drafted two classified documents that outlines the guidelines and exceptions for justifying the spying on U.S.citizens. These are two of the nearly 200 documents that were supposedly acquired by Edward Snowden and passed on to the The Guardian. The documents show that careless discretion is used to target ordinary Americans, and the decision to target is made by the technician that is doing the surveillance. There is no high authority that authorizes the spying. It is done with a “Blanket Approach”.
Should Edward Snowden Stand Trial?
One of the biggest fears that Edward Snowden has against the U.S. Government is that he will not get a fair trial. It should be noted that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower. He has apparently carefully selected the documents that he stole, in order to expose the massive spying that Americans were unaware of. The U.S. Government has classified him as a foreign spy and is charging him with espionage. The fact that many citizens think that these charges are unfounded are fueling a lot of debate about government secrecy.
When you look at the record of the Obama Administration, it is one of ruthless condemnation of whistle-blowers. Take Private First Class Bradley Manning for an example. He was also an intelligence analyst, and he was disillusioned with the government, where he released thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. He now faces a court martial in an uncertain fair trial, under the guise of his defense material being considered classified. He was tortured for months and held in indefinite military detention. He was on the verge of mental breakdown when human rights groups finally intervened to get him up to status as a normal federal prisoner.
Even though the U.S. Department of Justice considers Manning a traitor, his intentions were to expose government fraud in Afghanistan, along with illegal executions. One of his releases shows a U.S. helicopter targeting and killing a group of journalists that were standing around talking. When rescuers moved in to help the injured after the attack, they were also targeted and killed.
World Reaction Haunts Obama Administration
Unfortunately for President Obama and his Administration, the world is reacting negatively to his demands that Edward Snowden be extradited to the U.S. The general consensus is that he will not get a fair trial, and he may face indefinite military detention for years before he even gets a trial. Foreign officials are also fearing that Snowden may face torture, due the unfavorable record that the U.S. holds when it comes to human rights abuses, especially referring to Guantanamo and targeted drone strikes that have been kept secret from the American people. This is causing a worldwide non-cooperation with the U.S. Government, despite the bullying tactics that the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice is trying to induce.
Edward Snowden’s Worst Fears Are That Nothing Will Change
Edward Snowden’s revelations with The Guardian are that he fears what he did could be all for nothing. He fears that if the American people do not wake up, and continue to let the government go on with their agenda of tyranny and repression, that it will soon become too late. We already have a secret government, where laws are passed that are secret, and not accessible to it’s citizens. The Constitution has been attacked and dismantled since 9/11.
Now that U.S. citizens have learned what their government is doing to them, and on their behalf, they need to decide what to do with it. Will they stand up and fight for their democracy? Will they leave the country in the name of freedom? Or will they get bored with the scandals and go on with their lives, and let the scandals continue without speaking up? Only time will tell. However time is no longer a luxury.
Patrick Fuhrman is a freelance web developer and writer. He has written numerous articles for national magazines and local newspapers. His is active in various grass roots campaigns such as the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.