Tag Archives: snowden

Why Snowden blew the whistle

Snowden made a grave sacrifice for you, me, us.  He was a person who knew all about computers, electric telephones, all kinds of technology things and what’s going on with FaceBook and Yahoo News and blogs.

He knew when you look down the isles in grocery stores and see people squinting at cans, plastic bags, bottles in one hand, talking on cell phones in the other, the NSA was listening.  Recording.  Storing.  Every word.  Every background noise.  Preserving it for the future.

Snowden worried about that because every moment a million calls between the same sorts of people as those in the grocery store isles are also being recorded, listened to, stored, preserved.  Along with the background noises.

And Snowden knew at a visceral level that anyone who’d want to listen to those calls, record them, store them, could only be profoundly insane.  And anyone working for the profoundly insane person who conceptualized it would also soon be insane after being exposed to the prospect, the concept and the reality.

Snowden also knew countless millions of happy faces and inspiring thoughts fly around the internet every moment.  Billions of inspiring platitudes.  Trillions of “I heart my [fill in blank]” messages and touching pictures of puppies, kittens, and baby whales. 

Snowden knew no nation could survive the onslaught of such chaos except by trying to ignore it.   Listening, recording, storing it to preserve it for the future is the most dangerous activity in the history of mankind, and not only because it’s being done by sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise osterized brains.  Noone, Snowden knew, in his right mind would ever even consider such a thing.

Snowden had to try to save the planet.

Old Jules

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Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? The Catch 22 Timewarp Conspiracy

This might be the most important text you’ve ever read.

It’s certainly more important than Dick and Jane and their dog named Spot whatever they might be up to these days in Centerville, Ohio.  And anything else you might have read since then probably wasn’t all that important.  Instruction manuals written by English-as-a-second-language tech writers in Malaisia, labels on boxes of muffin-mix, even novels by Stephen King aren’t as important as this.

If you are like me you have to think hard to remember characters and dialogues in books you haven’t read in half-century.  But I’ve been waiting that long for Joseph Hellers prophetic novel, Catch 22, to get caught up with by events.

Yossarian to the mental ward physician:  “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Pages later, to Orr:  “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

Yossarian to Major Major Major Major, pages later:   “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

To Milo Minderbinder, a chapter or so later:  “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

Today all the spy-vs-spies in the world are asking themselves the same question.  Armed cruise missile operators are whispering those words into their microphones, “Give me the coordinates!”

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

Moscow airport?  Am I allowed to target the Moscow International Airport?”

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

“Well of course you need deniability.  It has to look like an accident.  Rogue drone kind of thing.”

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

“World War III?  Hell, we haven’t even finished WWII yet.  Snowden was WWII.  We’re all caught in a time warp.

low volume static, hissing, grumbling.

“Yeah, we need to watch for anyone named Yossarian.  And Joseph Heller, if he’s still alive, needs to answer a few questions.  If we see someone trying to corner the Egyptian cotton market we’ll know where to look.”

Old Jules