Yesterday, the FBI’s assistant director told Congress that the programs stopped as many as 50 separate terrorist plots against the US, the obvious implication was that surrendering essential liberties had made us more secure. At which point the subtle implication was just as obvious, that were we as a nation to surrender all of our essential liberties they would be able to prevent even more terrorist attacks.
This statement was delivered in the context of justifying the NSA’s massive and egregious violation of the United States Constitutions 4th and 5th amendment guarantees against unreasonable searches, seizure’s, arrests and self incrimination. The Federal Government via the FBI is essential making the same claims that the Gestapo, the KGB and the Stasi made before them.
Which comes down to the fallacious argument that the only way to truly protect their citizens a state needs to deprive them of all of their “Natural Right’s” and instead extend to them such privileges as the “State” see’s fit, privileges that the citizens will only enjoy so long as it is beneficial to the State and revocable any time the state deems the citizen for what ever arbitrary reason any sufficiently high enough ranking state official deems necessary.
At this point I feel compelled to quote American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin; “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”.
Furthermore, with regard to Edward Snowden, I would like to point out that as I have been saying for the last week, had mister Snowden followed the proscribed procedures for “Whistle Blowing” the American people would have never learned about the unprecedented violations of the United States Constitution by the NSA.
Not only is this my firm belief, which I have arrived as a consequence of the plethora of scandals erupting from the Federal Government, it is also the belief of three of the top federal whistle blowers.
Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe each protested the NSA in their own rights. “For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens,” the newspaper reports. “They had spent decades in the top ranks of the agency, designing and managing the very data collection systems they say have been turned against Americans. When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media.”
In other words, they blew the whistle in the way Snowden’s critics suggest he should have done. Their method didn’t get through to the members of Congress who are saying, in the wake of the Snowden leak, that they had no idea what was going on. But they are nonetheless owed thanks. (edit: emphases mine)
And among them, they’ve now said all of the following:
His disclosures did not cause grave damage to national security.
What Snowden discovered is “material evidence of an institutional crime.”
As a system administrator, Snowden “could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure — because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That’s why he said, I think, ‘I can even target the president or a judge.’ If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that’s right. As a super-user, he could do that.”
“The idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth.”
Congressional overseers “have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing.”
Lawmakers “don’t really don’t understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don’t understand.”
Asked what Edward Snowden should expect to happen to him, one of the men, William Binney, answered, “first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed.” Interesting that this is what a whistleblower thinks the U.S. government will do to a citizen. The abuse of Bradley Manning worked.
“There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It’s a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered.” (edit: emphases mine)
That last bolded text makes it 100 percent perfectly clear what I and others have been saying about Snowden. It is our belief that Snowden did what he did, the way he did it because he believed that it was the only way in which the American people would find out what their government was doing to them.
Hillary Clinton once infamously asserted that “Dissent Is the Highest Form of Patriotism” a belief which we can today see all to clearly only applies when the dissent in question is purely abstract and rhetorical, and does not actually threaten to expose Federal corruption at the highest levels.