Sunday, June 09, 2013
NSA Whistleblower Outs Himself
The NSA whistle blower of the extensive Prism intelligence gathering system the government implemented over the past seven years has decided to out his identity. He's 29-year old Edward Snowden, an infrastructure analyst for Booze Allen Hamilton, which has a contract with the NSA to implement and manage the system. Snowden, who was based in Hawaii, decided to flee to Hong Kong several weeks ago before telling his employer that he planned to take some time off from his $200,000 a year job. His background includes past work for the CIA.
"It believes on the grounds of self-certification that it serves the national security interest," Snowden said . . . Increasingly we see that it's happening domestically . . . To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone . . .it ingests them by default, it collects them in its system, and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that's the easiest most efficient, most valuable way to achieve these ends." Any analyst can target anyone at any time according to Snowden. "I sitting at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even a President if I had a personal e-mail," Snowden said.
Snowden's firm, Booze Allen Hamilton, is controlled by the Carlyle Group, a major international investment company controlled by CIA and intelligent types formerly holding positions in the U.S. and other foreign governments, including people like former President George H.W. Bush, former British Prime Minister John Major, former Secretary of State James Baker, former OMB Director Richard Darman and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Mac McLarty. The companies controlled by the Carlyle Group wield enormous power throughout the world because of their unparalleled access to the deepest, darkest secrets of government. It's difficult to know just how much money the company stuffs in the pockets of the politicians it controls, legally or otherwise, because so much of what it does is shrouded in mystery. Many companies in its portfolio are major defense contractors. Together, its companies employ 650,000 people worldwide. It is ranked as the third largest private equity firm in the world. The Carlyle Group is the embodiment of the military industrial complex former President Dwight Eisenhower warned the country of in his farewell address to the country.
It remains to be seen whether Snowden will be prosecuted. Although China does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S., Hong Kong does. Snowden said he chose Hong Kong to flee, not because he plans to defect to China, which he says is not an enemy of the U.S., but because he sees Hong Kong as a place that has a strong tradition of free speech. Snowden said he had access to the full roster of persons working in the U.S. intelligence community, including persons working under cover. He chose not to make disclosures that would hinder the country's system of intelligence surveillance; rather he chose to provide Americans with information he believed they were lacking to decide for themselves if this is what our country should be doing.
Do you see Snowden as a hero or a treasonous enemy? I personally consider him a patriot willing to risk his life to save the Republic our founders sacrificed so much to secure for us as long as we could keep it.