Sunday, July 28, 2013

On Snowden vs. Manning (again)

I consider Manning to be a hero because the way I see it he saw that real atrocities had occurred (the killing of innocent Iraqis) and exposed this. This is a true public service and I believe he had truly noble motivations. I hope he gets acquitted.

What I think about Snowden is this: He went into the latest NSA job (via Booz Allen Hamilton) with the intention of taking out data on PRISM. (This was after he became a Ron Paul supporter.) I haven't learned anything about PRISM that I didn't believe to be the case before. (WIRED had an article on NSA's capabilities in March, 2012, just without the name "PRISM" of course.*) So Snowden (who had certainly read the WIRED article) just wanted to dump on Obama, or he became one of the black-helicopter Ron Paul drones, or both.

It surprises me that some (some Tea Party types + some clueless liberals) want to make Snowden a hero. Also, it seems to me that more people are agitated that NSA might have captured their gmails than are upset that Iraqi innocents were killed. There's something perverse about that. I hope Snowden goes to jail, and Manning gets out.

(I wrote a poem about this last month: Snowden is no Manning.)

* This was written in March, 2012. Read this, and think of all the people "shocked" (like "Louis" in "Casablanca") to find out about PRISM this year:

Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails‚ parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital pocket litter. It is, in some measure, the realization of the total information awareness program created during the first term of the Bush administration‚ an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans privacy.
Wired 03.15.12