Foreign Policy NSA Security Wikileaks

Edward Snowden Reminds Us All Of What Is Most Important

For the first time since taking shelter in Russia this past August, Wikileaks posted an edited video clip this week showing Edward Snowden speaking at a dinner in Moscow after receiving the Sam Adams prize for integrity in intelligence.

Edward Snowden on the Republican party U.S. intelligence gathering programs:

They hurt our economy. They hurt our country. They limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships and to associate freely.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. They limit our ability to think and be creative and to have relationships?

Jesus, what did we ever do before the internet?

The U.S. government invented the internet. So, in fact, it is the U.S. government that provided the greatest tool for encouraging democracy, creativity, commerce, and relationships that the world has ever known. You’re welcome, World. Some thanks.

Snowden expounds:

“And there’s a far cry between legal programs, legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement, where it’s targeted, where it’s based on reasonable suspicion, and individualized suspicion and warranted action. This sort of dragnet mass-surveillance that puts entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything, even when it’s not needed… if we can’t understand the policies and programs of our government, we cannot grant our consent in regulating them.”

This all-seeing eye failed to catch Edward Snowden stealing state secrets, so obviously it’s not seeing everything. As an expert on espionage, Edward Snowden will decide what is legal, what is needed, and what is reasonable, individualized suspicion. He will decide what written rules of law to circumvent. And if we can’t understand how we got here over the course of over 237 years of progress and industrialization, better just let foreign governments decipher all that information first. Oy.

I’ve asked myself if this has made the country safer. I can’t say that it has.