Is The NSA Thinking Wisely?

There is no doubt top officials at the NSA are embarrassed.  There is also no doubt these officials harbor a certain amount of anger, after all this is the most top secret arm of Government.  But it’s long history of anonymity has left it ill-equipped to deal with the Edward Snowdon aftermath.

The NSA and their Congressional supporters have constantly reminded us that the world is loaded with some pretty bad people.  It takes an ever watchful NSA to keep these wolves at bay, we are told.  And Snowdon, and all those who have or would in the future, help him are as close to traitors as one can get.  In fact some may have already stepped over the line.

In the Sunday New York Times magazine, there was a feature article on Laura Poitras.  Ms Poitras earns her keep as a documentary film maker and director, and has been concentrating upon NSA and other secret Government activity for the past few years.  She revealed how the Government has followed her activities even though there are no indications she is a terrorist, or that she has supported terrorists.  She has, however, facilitate the release of Snowdon’s stolen NSA files.

You may respond that any friend of Snowdon’s is not a friend of mine.  Full stop.  But be careful.  Sunday, English border officials detained David M Miranda, a go-between for Ms Poitras and Glenn Greenwald (London Guardian reporter who broke the Snowdon story), and after hours of questioning confiscated Miranda’s computer, notes, and thumb drives.  No lawyers and no subpoenas were present or presented.  Hmmm.

Snowdon revealed massive NSA surveillance and the gathering of vast amounts of communications records (much involving American citizens).  The NSA has defended its actions by saying they were pursuing terrorist networks and have not listened or analyzed the phone records of Americans.

Snowdon may have (probably has) violated laws about safe guarding confidential information.  Greenwald and Poitras have warned about Government actions “which could” subsequently violate individual privacy rights.  Now coming full circle, it appears the Government (and its friend Great Britain) have moved beyond terrorist networks and have become interested in those who might want to warn us of government encroachment.  Hmmm.

Most citizens were thankful for the increased government activity to prevent another 9/11.  Laws have been passed which come close to invading Constitutional rights but again, most people have sided with the government apparently believing that the Government was on their side.  It just looks like the efforts to interfere with Greenwald and Poitras are efforts to quiet reporting using laws intended to suppress terrorists.  Hmmm.

The Obama Administration needs to become more sensitive to the problems the NSA bureaucracy is creating.  There is a thin line between what people suspect are government’s intentions and what they might actually be.  It is time for some old fashion PR advice.  If Americans become worried about this government intrusion, why should they not fear “big government” in other areas?

Just look at the mess air travel has become when bureaucrats were allowed to run wild.

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