The lid has been blown off of the Obama administration's misuse of the National Security Agency's capabilities. This latest scandal has damaged our national security and the intelligence agency's credibility to the extent that it may take years to recover.
The whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who was first a CIA employee, then a contractor with Booz Allen, Hamilton at NSA has come forward saying he was: "acting out of conscience to protect basic liberties throughout the world".
Before you go putting a halo on his head or ribbons on his chest, consider the following: he said this from Hong Kong, which is under the control of Communist China, so I very much doubt his assertion that he's interested in 'basic liberties'.
Additionally, when he first decided to sign on with the CIA, he took an oath not to disclose information, and protect and defend the country from enemies foreign and domestic. He has gone against that oath in no uncertain terms.
I don't want to hear about this outrage Snowden may have felt when he discovered some of the practices of the National Security Agency. It's false indignation on his part. There's enough open source material out there so even the most ignorant can get some idea what NSA, CIA or any other intelligence agency is about. America is being subject to a con job by a traitor and who knows: possibly a spy for the Chinese government. Why did he go to Hong Kong? Obviously a sympathetic government took him in. But not one sympathetic to us.
A small history lesson. When NSA was founded by a presidential order by President Truman, its original mission (and it remains to this day) was to gather and process foreign signals for intelligence and counter intelligence means and support military operations. In other words, it is a spy agency. Now some people's delicate sensibilities may be shattered by this revelation, but there it is. This may come as a shock to many of you, but espionage is a dirty business. Whether they're sitting in a cubicle as a lowly analyst, out in the field or undercover, they're involved in espionage. A dirty job.
But it's a job that has to be done. Trying to keep this country safe from countries and elements that want to hurt or destroy us is not a task that can be accomplished with a minimum of technology, or effort. We have enemies; we have to combat them with any means necessary, because they won't give us a second chance if we fail the first time. And, they will use any means necessary. Why give them that advantage?
NSA has always had the technology that is above and beyond anything that you or I consider high tech, but, and pay attention: it is how you use that technology that makes a difference. The people who are charged with keeping this country safe and upholding the Constitution are responsible for this breach of trust. They have misused the agency's technological capabilities to further their own agenda. And have gone against NSA's mission statement.
NSA is bound by United States Security Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID 18) which sharply curtails the interception of domestic communication unless that person is tied in with a foreign element. Approval to intercept communications is needed from a FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) court which initially would be requested by the Attorney General of the United States (in this case Eric Holder).
There's a list of reasons domestic communication intercept can be granted by a FISA court judge, but they must be based on a foreign element being involved. No out and out domestic communication intercept is to be allowed.
What I think many people are missing in this newest scandal is that the Obama administration is dictating the activities of NSA. The Director and Deputy Director don't just wake up one morning and decide they are going to gather intelligence on American citizens. There has to be a higher authority telling it to do so. And the AG has either lied to a FISA judge or gotten approval from a sympathetic court.
Now, I'm not saying NSA is as pure as the wind driven snow; far from it. It's involved in espionage, remember?
But the extent that this administration will go to suppress Americans that don't agree with them as in the IRS actions against conservative organizations and now this one with NSA shows that they will do anything they can to suppress our Constitutional rights. The 1st Amendment was being slapped around with the IRS scandal and this latest one with NSA shows they are after your 4th Amendment rights also.
I know, many will say that this started under the Bush administration with the Patriot Act, but if they had gone to this extent, the media would have dug it out and run the story. Remember, the press was no friend of the Bush presidency and would not have had a reason to protect him.
These actions were taken by an administration that wants to remove our Constitution and replace it with one in which the government gives us rights, and can take away those rights as they see fit. To have this occur under this administration is no surprise for those of us who knew exactly what they stood for.
Some of the most vociferous comments have come from the liberal side of the street. Which in itself is laughable because they cheered when they heard the IRS was curtailing the rights of conservatives. They are getting the government they were clamoring for when they supported and voted for Obama. This is what socialism is, or do they not think it works for them, also? Did they think an installed socialist government would just gather information on just one side of the street? That's not how it works. Socialism and Communism work on the premises of widespread observation, manipulation and restriction. In order for it to work, everyone must be part of the system. I find their indignation to be foolish and naive.
You can scream about NSA's assault on your 4th Amendment rights, but like the dummy on a ventriloquist's knee, someone is pulling the strings.