There is no logical conclusion that proves Snowden is a traitor
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 02:09
There remains a perplexing and rather widespread miasma of confusion surrounding Edward Snowden and the nature of his deeds. The blithering propagandist machine we all colloquially refer to as “the mainstream media” leaped to the defense of the state by doing what they do best: say a whole lot of nothing until everyone grows sick of the cacophony and moves on. The most divisive strategy the mainstream media employed to distract the masses from critically examining the documents that Snowden made available to us, was to focus on answering the trivial question of whether he was a traitor or a hero. In spite of all the pointless bickering, debating, and unenlightening discussions on this exact question, the answer is simple; Edward Snowden released classified and frankly horrifying information about a massive surveillance program to the people of the United States. Since no evidence exists to prove that Snowden shared any actual intelligence with Russia or China, the only group he made privy to his trove of information was the American people. Unless the government considers its own citizens to be enemies of the state, there is no logical conclusion that ends with Snowden being convicted of treason.
One common concern levied against Snowden is that the revelation of the existence of PRISM, the system the NSA uses to collect and analyze our private information, has damaged the system’s ability to perform its primary function: the identification of domestic terrorists, such as the Tsaernev brothers. Unfortunately Snowden’s recent release of the government’s “Black Budget” or public funds allocated to intelligence agencies concretely proves, according to the state, that PRISM is woefully unable to identify “homegrown” agents of terror. In fact, of the $10.8 billion granted to the NSA in 2012, only $1.5 billion is utilized in “Data Analysis.” $1.6 billion is spent on “Data Exploitation,” which sounds more like something Facebook does than an Intelligence Agency, and the remaining $7.7 billion is used to maintain and expand PRISM’s storage capacity.
Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the head of the NSA, took the time to answer questions fielded by everyone’s favorite imbeciles, Congress. In his largely contradictory testimony, Gen. Alexander claimed that PRISM was essential in preventing “over 50” impending terrorist attacks. Now, we already know from the NSA’s own documents that PRISM is just wholly unable to detect domestic “lone wolves,” and many more documents demonstrate that PRISM is primarily used to spy domestically or on our allies. However, most damning of all is the fact that not a single sliver of evidence has been released by the state to prove that these thwarted attacks were real.
What is very real, is the continued expansion of PRISM’s storage facilities. In a leaked “minimization procedures” document, it is revealed that PRISM can hold onto all of the data it has collected for an indefinite period of time. Now take the thought of a system that never forgets all the secrets it collects and marry that to the reality of a new NSA facility in Utah being built at the expense of an initial $2 billion. The cost of actually installing hardware, software, and maintenance will reach another $2 billion, electrical costs are estimated at $40 million a year, and the facility will expend 1.7 million gallons of water a day to keep from overheating. Best of all, the 100,000 square feet of space designated for the “data center” will house hard-drives capable of storing between 3 and 12 exabytes equal to a quintillion bytes, which are designed to be upgradeable as future technology increases capacity.
Revelations that a nation’s government has been unlawfully spying upon its citizens usually incites cries of “Big Brother!” but to do so would be a disservice to ourselves and those who survived a draconian police state. Big Brother is a character, 1984 is a book, and both are fiction, but the Stasi of East Germany, along with their heinous activities of state terror and domestic espionage, are horrifyingly real. There is a reason attendance dropped during Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign from 200,000 people to a piddling 6,000 invitees in 2013; the citizens of East Germany lived in a society not too far down from us on the slippery-slope, and they know tyranny when they see it.