I was asked this week what I felt would happen to Edward Snowden? I have a different perspective on what Snowden has done than some of our liberals and neocons in Congress. The criminal is the American NSA and those on our Intelligence Committees. Americans should not for one minute believe those who are telling us they are only collecting “meta data” they are lying.
E-crime experts around the world have known for some time that our government was collecting data on not just Americans but citizens of other countries as well. The data was not just from ordinary Americans and Chinese, but from all our friends and allies -- Germany, Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, Latin and South America, and many others. (Why are we spying on our friends?)
Snowden is not a traitor or criminal but someone who exposed a crime. The right to privacy from electronic surveillance is granted in most national constitutions. This has been declared a human right by the United Nations and is a crime to collect it secretly. As Americans we may we may sacrifice our privacy for national security but what about the rest of the world? The Executive Branch, FISA court and even Congress may give their approval to spy on American citizens for the best interest of the defense of the nation but that does not include citizens of other nations.
As hard as it may be for most Americans to accept we are not the only country that has a constitution that protect human rights and liberties. Our country may be fine with our freedoms and liberties circumvented by the Patriot Act but the rest of the world is not happy with the United States breaching their sovereignty laws to spy on their citizens and businesses. In fact, the rest of the world regards what the NSA is doing is an international crime and a direct violation of their human rights. As far as the world community is concerned the United States can no longer be trusted.
The Snowden fiasco will result in a geopolitical shift that will have a major impact on the United States as well as each of us as citizens of the United States. As most Internet users are well aware that our government has wanted full control over the Internet. As of now a major proportion of all global Internet traffic flows through networks controlled by the United States. Eight of the fifteen global tier 1 telecommunication companies are owned by American companies and the social media companies are headquartered in the United States. These companies all come under the U.S. Patriot Act no matter where their services are offered or what country their servers are located. We might be able to live with this, but the rest of the world will not knowing how America has abused their privacy.
Having the Internet traffic routed through the U.S. puts the sovereign nations outside the United States at risk in guaranteeing the constitutionally privacy rights of their citizens. This will be coming to an end. Our government in its need to circumvent freedom and liberty has become an international criminal. People around the world have been subjected to the NSA capturing and tracking their electronic communications. Even though most Americans cannot see the seriousness of this action they would be furious if the roles were reversed and China was the world’s Internet controller and they were collecting personal data on every American citizen.
Our politicians have become what we found so hated in Russia, China and Iran governments, the predatory Police State that spied on its citizens. What is amazing is that Russia’s President Putin lectures our President Obama on spying on Americans. The world governments were outraged about America’s actions. There were heated and outraged discussions at the G-8 summit in Ireland. Eric Holder was flown to Brussels for questioning by the European Union. When Holder left, they were even more outraged. The Germans openly compared the United States actions to the actions of the Cold War-era.
I am also embarrassed to have our country lectured by the United Nations. It is a sad day in America when the rest of the world is concerned about protecting the rights of privacy and America is the violator.
“Surveillance programs that trample on people’s right to privacy in the name of security actually risk damaging the fight against terrorism,” UN rights chief Navi Pillay warned .
UN Under Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman said: “If we allow compromise on human rights, we are not countering terrorism but letting it get its way. “When the principles enshrined in the human rights instruments are disrespected, extremism tends to thrive,” said Feltman, who heads the world body’s Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office (CTITF).
WOW! That hurts.
Switzerland has asked Washington for explanations about Snowden’s revelations, especially on an alleged CIA blackmail operation to spy on its banks while he was stationed in Geneva as a diplomatic attache from 2007 to 2009.
In Germany, the country’s data commissioner has said he expects the government to put a stop to any American surveillance of German citizens, while worried lawmakers from across the political spectrum have said they want to know more. Maybe they fear blackmail from the U.S.
“No one has a problem with the USA keeping terrorists under surveillance — that has prevented terrorist attacks in Germany before now too,” said Thomas Oppermann, a senior lawmaker from the opposition Social Democrats (SPD). (But) total surveillance of all citizens by the USA is completely inappropriate. The German government must protect the privacy of Germans from the USA too.”
“This affair looks like it will be one of the biggest scandals in data sharing ... Merkel cannot just look away and act like nothing has happened,” added Renate Kuenast, a senior Green lawmaker.
Peter Schaar, Germany's federal data protection commissioner told the Guardian that it was unacceptable that US authorities have access to the data of European citizens "and the level of protection is lower than what is guaranteed for US citizens."
The list of countries who have raised concerns are those who we have called our friends and allies and then we treat them as enemies. Our government has accused China of hacking and stealing information for years but when exposed as the thief, we blame the man who exposed these crimes as the thief. Our government will continue to distract the American public by blaming China, Russia and Snowden. The national media will continue to focus on misdirection of the issues and stonewall the investigation.
So what do I think will happen to Snowden? Well, our President has already used drones on America citizens without due process. Maybe he will add Snowden to his “kill list”. Regardless the direction our government goes Snowden’s life is over as he knew it. He sacrificed all to expose a corrupt government. When the most arrogate political leaders in the world have been caught red handed they have no other recourse than to call Edward Snowden a traitor and demand that he return to America to be tried. Who are the real traitors? Everyone who knew about or gave orders to spy on the entire earth is a traitor to the right of privacy of every individual on earth.
I understand that our government has been ruled by the Executive Branch for years. This is proven by the fact, Congress cannot complete an investigation, nor can they stop the actions of the Executive Branch when blatantly committing illegal actions. The IRS scandal, AP scandal, Fast and Furious, Voter Fraud scandals, and engaging in war without the consent of Congress all are examples of the ineffectiveness of our elected officials to run this country. Neither the Republican nor Democrats have shown an interest in preserving the rights of the citizens of the world, let alone American citizens.
By the way, we are being told that the information Snowden leaked MAY cause the death of some operatives. Again, misdirection and lies, our government does not care about its operatives. Our State Department sacrificed the lives of four Americans, one being an Ambassador-- and we are rapidly approaching a year since it happened and nothing has been done. We will continue to be fed a list of “talking point lies” and misdirected until it will soon be forgotten.