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Jul-09-2013 11:12printcomments

A Brief Comment on Snowden and the NSA Surveillance Program

If the American public is shocked at the NSA Surveillance Program, then they haven't been paying attention.

NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden
NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

(SAN FRANCISCO) - Much, maybe too much, has been reported on Edward Snowden's leaking of classified information, the NSA Surveillance Program, and Snowden's desperate attempts to find asylum. I would just add a brief comment,

In my view Edward Snowden is neither a hero nor a villain. He broke the law as an act of conscience. As a result of his act of civil disobedience, he will probably spend his life in exile.

Taking advantage of the public's concern for security in the wake of 9/11, our government initiated the NSA Surveillance Program in 2002. Then security trumped privacy concerns and still does in many quarters.

A stunning shock such as 9/11 was the cover needed to implement i-- in the name of security -- Draconian measures such as the NSA Surveillance Program, which in ordinary times would have been vigorously opposed by the populace. (See Naomi Klein's book, The Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

If the American public is shocked at the NSA Surveillance Program, then they haven't been paying attention.  As early as 2005, The New York Times exposed the government's "warrantless eavesdropping," which forced NSA to open the program to broader review.  

In fact, there is evidence that the surveillance program had been cleansing itself well before Snowden's leaks.   No doubt, Snowden's leaks will help speed the cleansing process.


Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address stonere@earthlink.net



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