So this is what it’s all been boiled down to. This was the change and hope I tried so hard to believe in? Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself in the uncomfortable position of rooting for someone who has been charged with espionage by the U.S. government.
I’ve found myself hoping desperately that no matter what comes of this that Snowden manages to find somewhere safe to gain asylum. In part because I don’t think that he deserves to be punished for what he did and in part because I don’t want to believe that the country I have spent my entire life in would actually go through with such a miscarriage of justice. Two members of my family, both of whom are very close to me, have served in the military and fought in overseas wars. Neither of them fought for this. To give our government the power to bully and prosecute people for exposing lies and corruption within government agencies.
Tonight Snowden fled Hong Kong and is currently at a Moscow airport apparently waiting for his connecting flight that will take him to whatever country he plans on seeking asylum in. A source at the airport has said that Snowden’s next flight will land in Cuba although most think his final destination will be Ecuador.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch Snowden’s interview with Glenn Greenwald you should definitely give it a watch. Here’s one of the more chilling quotes.
“Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where 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 the 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 derive suspicion from an innocent life, and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.”
Our government is prosecuting someone for exposing a system that is collecting private information on its own citizens. Are we willing to give up every last freedom to the military industrial complex? Could I have ever imagined that writing a simple blog post such as this could potentially put me on a list of people that requires extra scrutiny from the NSA? Not paranoia, not irrational fear but fact. It’s happening as we speak.
John Stewart put it best when he pointed out that while federal prosecutors have come down hard on hackers and “potheads”, the Obama administration tip-toed around potentially criminal bankers who caused the financial collapse.
The scope of what is going on here is almost unimaginable and it has completely changed mine, along with many other peoples’, views of what this country has become.