First let me send a shout out to any and all NSA analysts who may or may not be monitoring internet blogs, citizen cell phones, and all of our Facebook pages. It’s a pleasure to have you here and I trust you will not be too scandalized by our content. And if you are listening, please let your superiors know that we will not be silenced by your surveillance. Okay?
The Snowden leaks are the latest in a growing tide of classified information being revealed to the public. The Bradley Manning leaks, including the Collateral Damage video and State Department cables, show clearly that we are continually lied to by our government. It comes as no great surprise to those of us who lived through the Cold War, Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate. Governments always lie because it helps keep us weak and them strong. And lies couched in the fiction of National Security always get the greatest support from the ball-less mainstream press.
But Snowden’s leaks take the grand prize. The scope of the program being lied about is so vast, so invasive, and so secret that at first you think it could only have been dreamed up by a conspiracy theorist on crack. Billions upon billions of data bits—phone calls, emails, text messages—all sucked into a giant black hole to be stored just in case they ever want to find out what you did. It sounds like a bad sci-fi movie script. Because the program is so huge, the lies to cover it up are appropriately huge too.
Some of the lying is not without humor, of course. James Clapper, US director of national intelligence blatantly lied to Senator Ron Wyden during a Congressional hearing when asked if the NSA collected data on millions of Americans. “No sir,” Clapper answered. Later Clapper defended himself saying that he didn’t understand the question and that he gave the “least untruthful answer possible.” You gotta love a bureaucrat who can turn a phrase like that.
These leaks are only the beginning. Julian Assange of Wikileaks has said that no matter what the US government does to or about Edward Snowden, nothing can stop more information from being leaked. Glen Greenwald of the Guardian in the U.K. reports that he is working on new releases of information all the time. We can only sit and watch as the Surveillance State power structure—from the President and Secretary of State on down—squirms and blusters in public, while scrambling in secret to cover their misdeeds.
No one knows what the eventual outcome will be, but it is likely that the revelation of NSA’s spying on American citizens will have the same painful cleansing effect on our Surveillance State that the Pentagon Papers had on the Vietnam War forty-two years ago.
A word of caution: the mainstream US press is not going to tell you the truth. They are merely functioning as the governments p.r. agencies. If you are not reading RT, Aljazeera, the Guardian, and Democracy Now you should be.
Okay, analysts, I’m done for now.