Friday, June 21, 2013

Obama on thin ice with NSA leak


Ah, yes, the deification of Edward J. Snowden has begun.
    Former presidential contender and ex-Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul said June 11, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and (Guardian writer) Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk.”
    Apparently Snowden was a fan of Paul’s as well, donating $250 to his quixotic 2012 campaign.
    That same day a Boston Globe columnist called him “an American hero.” Strange bedfellows indeed.
    The high school and community college dropout who leaked information on the National Security Agency’s surveillance program has at least done the agency one big favor — pointed out what a bunch of bumblers they are.
    If a ne’er-do-well computer technician with a political agenda can get access to a supposedly super-secret Power Point presentation, what chance does that same system have against, say, Chinese hackers? And wouldn’t it be amusing if in his zealousness to avoid prosecution in the U.S. by hopping over to Hong Kong he somehow had to submit to questioning by Chinese authorities. Yes, the possibilities of this little drama are endless.
    And so again before we sing the praises of this twit, who like Pfc. Bradley Manning of WikiLeaks fame somehow needed his moment in the spotlight to wallow in his own self-righteousness, let us take to heart the words of the man who became Snowden’s mouthpiece — writer/activist Greenwald, who broke the story.
    Greenwald told The New York Times that Snowden “knew that in order for someone to do this story the way it had to be done” he had to be “in an adversarial posture vis-a-vis the U.S. government.”
    What more do we need to know about Greenwald and the Guardian.
    NSA officials attempted this week to assuage members of Congress and reassure them they have been kept in the loop, while trying to determine what if any damage has been done by the leak.
    The problem for the NSA and the Obama administration right now is that their credibility was already shot to hell. An administration that lied about Benghazi, that secretly acquired the phone records of The Associated Press and a Fox News reporter and presided over the politicization of the IRS has eroded the people’s trust in their government.
    That makes it all the more difficult for them to now say, “Trust us, we’re the good guys.”

The Boston Herald published this editorial on June 13.

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