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Sunday, June 09, 2013

National Security Agency Whistle Blower Crows from the Safety of Hong Kong - One Veteran Officer Responds

Edward Snowden reveals himself as a whistle blower, will seek asylum in Iceland?  He criticizes the work of the NSA while speaking to the media, from Hong Kong.  Maybe there's an iceberg the Icelanders can float him on, where he'll eventually melt into the ocean.

From DonD in Wake Forest North Carolina:  "Let's see. This guy joins the Army, then is upset that the Army teaches one to kill, rather than perform humanitarian acts. He joins the CIA, and gets upset again, this time because the CIA may want him to collect intelligence information. He later discloses his version of what the CIA expected of him which, if true, is a violation of a non-disclosure agreement he would have had to sign."

Iceberg Alert - can we reserve one for Snowden?  

What's Snowden trying to accomplish?  He's putting innocent people at risk by creating doubt about our nation's ability to collect data for national security purposes.  

Honestly, Americans who believe any electronic communications are secure must still believe in the tooth fairy. Moreover, electronic surveillance began with the passage of the Patriot Act, enacted under President George Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington DC.  The work of the National Security Agency (NSA) must rise above the political rhetoric of the moment and focus on tracking terrorists. Any attempt by politicians, like the pompous Senator Rand Paul, to curtail the surveillance of electronic communications must be carefully evaluated in light of the new normal world we live in.  Citizens can't hire enough public safety people to protect innocent people from terrorism; but we can monitor patterns in electronic communications to pick up patterns that may prevent tragedies.

In response to the Snowdon whistle blower disclosure, a retired Army officer, whose career included assisting international diplomats, writes this op-ed article, used here with his permission:

DonD  Wake Forest, NC

Let's see. This guy joins the Army, then is upset that the Army teaches one to kill, rather than perform humanitarian acts.

He joins the CIA, and gets upset again, this time because the CIA may want him to collect intelligence information. He later discloses his version of what the CIA expected of him which, if true, is a violation of a non-disclosure agreement he would have had to sign.

Next, he works for NSA as a contractor, where he must sign a non-disclosure agreement, but again gets upset, this time with an intelligence organization that collects communications information.

He says he has heroes, Daniel Ellsberg and PFC Bradley Manning, both of whom gained notoriety by disclosing classified information. For the latter, that series of disclosures has put several individual lives at peril. I'm surprised he didn't claim Jonathan Pollard as a hero, as well.

For those who think this is heroic behavior, this individual was custom made to be recruited by a foreign intelligence service, and the old KGB would have had him working for them in a heartbeat. The hook, in Snowden's case would have been a psychological weakness for personal recognition, while assuring him that his actions in no way would be damaging to the US.

I do agree with those who want a more fulsome public dialogue as to the limits of NSA's work, but having gotten there with public disclosure of sensitive methods of collection to a foreign entity cannot be supported.

Thank you Don.  I can't imagine anyone wanting to interfere with the important NSA intelligence work, when all the agency is trying to do is to protect innocent people from becoming victims of terrorism.

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