Saturday, May 17, 2014

What Has Edward Snowden Accomplished?

Long term EPJ readers will recall that right from the start I had mixed feeling about the Edward Snowden leaks. On June 16, 2013 in a post titled, Why I Am Not Impressed with the Edward Snowden NSA Leaks, So Far, I wrote:
Are we being set up for a more open aggressive tracking by the government? I have no reason to question the sincerity of Glenn Greenwald and his desire to break open the secretive tracking of Americans by the United States government. However, I am very suspicious of the manner in which MSM jumped on the story and pushed it so hard.[...]Anyone paying close attention to the news would have suspected, a long time ago, that something like this type of spying and data collection was going on. Indeed, I regularly commented on such here at EPJ, most recently  on May 4, in a post titled, Are All Telephone Calls in the US Recorded by the Government?[...]
I don't think there is enough information to make a call on this from the outside, at this time. That said, I am not impressed with the Snowden leaks to date. He has only leaked information that a closer follower of government snooping would have already known about or suspected..
I went on to say:
[I]t appears we have something of a limited hangout here by USG. The purpose is unkown, though I suspect what may be going on is that the USG may be wanting to use in court cases some of the data they are collecting. BUT in order to do this, they have to acknowledge they have the data in the first place, which may be what the leak to Greenwald is all about (and the leaks to WaPo about USG tracking internet data).

Now Gary North recaps what has occurred since the  leaks first became public:
I appreciate what Snowden did. His decision to leak the stolen documents has done the conservative movement an enormous favor. It has blown to smithereens the greatest single myth of conservatism: “If the American people knew about this, there would be an uprising.” No, there wouldn’t.

Here is a variation: “If the voters knew what is being done to them by the Conspiracy, they would throw out the conspirators at the next election.” No, they wouldn’t...

Snowden has proven, as no one in my era has better proved, that exposure of the Bad Guys in government has no negative effect on them.

If exposure does come, and the public does nothing to thwart the hidden Bad Guys, then the Bad Guys no longer have to worry about further exposure. It will be old news. At this point, they can do even more to secure their position of power. The pressure blows over. There may be a time of bad publicity, but this does not change anything fundamental....

The NSA is more powerful than ever. From now on, any further exposure is old news. No harm, no foul....

Has the spying center in Utah been shut down? No. It is going to come online as promised. It has all kinds of snafus associated with it, as any government bureaucracy does. But Congress has in no way reined it in. The public has not demanded that Congress rein it in.

Is there any indication of a mass political movement inside either of the two political parties to bring the NSA under control, let alone abolish it? No. The public doesn’t care one way or the other. All the public needs to know is that the NSA is stopping terrorism, and the rest of it is irrelevant. The public says A-OK. No problem.


  1. What has he accomplished? He got a few people to understand that the 4th does not require the govt to get a warrant to conduct a search. Searches can't be unreasonable and that does not mean the govt always needs probable cause (a warrant) to conduct a search. The 4th allows a warrantless search so long as it is not unreasonable.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

    1. Not at all. It says the government must get a warrant to do anything as part of public record, and in that warrant it must state why, and who, when and where.
      It does not mean the government can simply invoke "well we can do anything we like because the defendant had the murder weapon in his hand with the victims blood dripping from it"

    2. Jerry...your interpretation of the meaning of 4A is wrong. You have to go back to the ratifying conventions to see how the words were interpreted there by the members of the state ratifying conventions. Virginia's was arguably the most important. Get a new undershirt. Get out of the basement.

  2. Gary North's observation provides more evidence that the mentally handicapped and sociopathic are in control. And as confirmation JW comments with a myopic focus on one word in a complex statement and claims that as his only reality. Very schizophrenic...

  3. While I believe that Dr. North is correct as to the broader consequences of the Snowden's revelations, the revelations did have a certain effect on me in that they solidified in my mind the fact that the US government is fully under the control of liars, lunatics and sociopaths.

    Even though I was already aware of much of what Snowden revealed, I found the governments reaction to the revelations to be fascinating. For a brief moment, the government officials looked and acted like naughty children who had been caught in the act doing something that their parents had told them not to do. Momentarily they actually seemed to be fearful of a potentially negative reaction from the public, in the same way that a bratty child fears potential from a parent. However, when the public barely reacted, you could see a change in their attitude. They appeared like naughty children who realized that they could do whatever they wanted and never be punished. All fear was gone. Their reaction made it clear that the system has become completely lawless.

    The other thing that struck me was the way the government operatives would lie after each revelation, only to be caught in their lie by the next revelation. This pattern was repeated a number of times. The ability of such characters and Clapper, Obama, Feinstein and Congressmen Mike Rogers to repeatedly and shamelessly lie, only to be caught in their lies over and over again, made it clear to me that they are sociopaths.

    The revelations obviously will not stop the government's illegal activities or change the world. However, I personally found them to be helpful in my understanding of the world.

    1. One other observation can not left unsaid. That was the story about how the bureaucrats within the national security organizations felt about Snowden personally. Interviews of these bureaucrats detailed the way in which these nut jobs sat around and fantasized about assassinating Snowden in great and disturbing detail.

      Without the Snowden leaks, I would never have imagined just how sick these people are.

  4. North might be right about the american public's reaction but lets not forget the rest of the world. The German government seems set to stop foreign companies from doing business with them if they can't guarantee they won't be forced to to turn over sensitive data. I believe that without major reform in America other will follow suite. Even some private companies and individuals will avoid using american products. Right now the US IT-industry seems to be waiting for Obama to take action. If he doesn't, I think we will see some major industry lobbying on this issue. No politician running for office will want to take on Silicon Valley.

    I believe this is a limited hangout orchestrated by the CIA, in an attempt to take NSA down a notch. Snowden and Obama both worked for CIA in the past.