I Spy!

I Spy!

© David Burton 2013

Security Breach

     The person who leaked the secret information about the government’s surveillance of phone and internet records has been identified as Edward Snowden, “a former CIA technical staff member who worked at the National Security Agency {NSA} for an outside contractor.”
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     “’I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.’” (Ref. 1)

     Snowden has indeed done something very wrong. He has provided America’s enemies with secret information that may help them avoid future detection and enable them to kill and injure more Americans. This self-proclaimed American hero is now the darling of the media and those paranoids who suspect the American government of all sorts of malicious actions against its own citizens while they blithely ignore the war that is raging about them every day. The very recent Boston Marathon bombing is now only a forgotten memory to these Snowden admirers.

     To me, Snowden is a narcissistic egomaniac who envisions himself as the savior of the American people. If someone dies because of what he has done, he could care less – he is basking is his moment of adulation and fame. He is unconsciously even hoping that he will become a martyr to his cause - whatever that is. Who has given him the right to divulge national security information to America’s enemies? Who has give him the right to swear that he will not divulge American secret information and then unilaterally decide that he has the God-given right to violate this oath? Who has given him the right to place the lives of Americans in peril?

     What Snowden has done is to reveal classified information while the United States is fighting a brutal world-wide war with fanatical Islamic fundamentalists. Make no mistake, we are at war, even if war has not been officially declared by Congress. Ask the families of American servicemen and servicewomen who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ask the families of those killed on September 11th. Ask those maimed and injured at the Boston Marathon bombing and the families of those killed there. Snowden signed legal documents stating that he would not reveal the classified information to which he was being granted access. The law clearly states the penalties for violating these agreements. As the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said, “'Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law.'
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     The National Intelligence Director said, “Disclosing information about the specific methods the government uses to collect communications can obviously give our enemies a ‘playbook’ of how to avoid detection,” (Ref. 3)

     Is there really a matter of conscience involved here? There was nothing illegal about the government’s surveillance program. “. . . the NSA program is not only legal, important and necessary, but also . . . the outrage over these revelations is overblown. Phone records – as opposed to the content of phone conversations – are not private under the fourth amendment. Moreover, the ‘metadata’ collected by the NSA is essential for tracking terrorists’ patterns before they attack. [Emphasis mine]
     “After every terrorist attack, everyone always asks, ‘Why didn’t the government connect the dots?’ Well, what the NSA is doing is connecting dots. . . . {And} this is no rogue operation. . . . every branch of government was kept in the loop. Congressional leadership was briefed. The administration sought these warrants from a judge.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 2)

     Perhaps most important, Snowden has spied for the benefit of an enemy during a time of war – a crime universally regarded as punishable by death. Remember that the Rosenbergs were executed for giving atomic secrets to the Russians even when we not formally at war with the Soviets.

     And we are indeed at war. The United States has been at war with fundamentalist Islam for the past four decades. Over that period of time American service men and women, along with U.S. civilians have been repeatedly attacked by Muslim fanatics. The fundamentalist objectives are world conquest and the imposition of their version of Islam on all humanity. They have been ruthlessly murdering Americans, non-Muslims and those fellow co-religionists who do not follow their version of Islam.

     The United States should use all legal means available to bring Snowden back to the U.S. for trial and punishment. He should be made an example to those who think that they are above the law. If Snowden cannot be returned for trial, then there is Seal Team 6 or some other such group that should be employed to do to Snowden what was done to Osama bin Ladin.

     Oh yes, what about the “real issue” of the United States government spying on its citizens? Well, if the government wants to know whom I am calling or who is calling me and how long we are talking, let them go to it. If they want to know who I am contacting on the internet and how long I am on-line with them, so be it. I could care less. Should they or someone in the government use this information for illegal purposes, that is another matter. But, until this happens, I give them permission to collect all the information about me to which they are legally entitled. Anyone who has a problem with the government collecting legally authorized information about them either has something that he/she wants to hide because it is illegal/immoral or he/she is simply paranoid and needs to consult a shrink - they need to get a life!

     According to the rationale behind this breach of national security, everyone can individually decide what needs to be kept secret and what can be disclosed. Everyone who signs a security agreement can arbitrarily decide if and when he/she can unilaterally abrogate that agreement and ignore the law covering the agreement. Imagine this happening in everyday life. Everyone could decide which laws to obey and which to disobey and he/she could so whenever he/she felt like it. Legal agreements could be done away with whenever it suited the party that signed the agreement. Don’t like driving on the right side of the road? Start driving on the left side when it suits your fancy. Want to become famous? Break the law, claim you did it as a matter of conscience and wait for the reporters to clamor for an interview with you.

     Oh, by the way – For many years, there have been non-governmental organizations collecting all sorts of information about who I am talking to on the telephone and for how long. The people in these organizations do not have security clearances. They even publish this information. These organizations are called telephone companies. Each and every month they send me a bill that lists all the calls I have made and reports on how long I have been talking on each call. They have been doing this for decades without court orders. They send this information through the open mail without taking special precautions to prevent this information from inadvertently falling into the hands of someone other than me. Oh the horror of it all!

     If letting the government know with whom I am talking or corresponding and how long I am doing so can save one life or stop one terrorist attack, then I say more power to those doing their job to protect us. Go to it! We are at war and we need to use all the tools at our disposal to defeat those who are bent on killing or subjugating us. In response to an attack against the United States, an American president once said, “You are either with us or against us!” Leaking secrets to our enemies or those supporting our enemies quite simply means that you are against us.

     America, get your priorities straight – stop worrying if big brother is checking on who you are talking to and start worrying about the devil that is out there plotting how to kill you!

     There is a game called I Spy that we play with our children on long auto trips. America is not involved in a game with Islamic terrorists. It is a fight to the death where being a spy and giving information to the enemy cannot be viewed as a harmless game of I Spy.


  1. NSA contractor ID’s as leak in U.S phone-spying shocker, McClatchy News, Boston Herald, Page 15, 10 June 2013.
  2. NSA Skepticism healthy with ‘Big Data’ watching, Jonah Goldberg, Boston Herald, Page 19, 10 June 2013.
  3. NSA whistle-blower who sought to 'inform the public' in surveillance leak faces jail, Fox News, foxnews.com, 10 June 2013.


  10 June 2013 {Article 166; Undecided_29}    
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