Tuesday, 18 June 2013 06:35

Whistle-blowers; The New Western Worry

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Do these morally misguided, these mistrustful messengers of fear mean us harm or are they just a menace within our society?   What motivates these strange people to such depths of betrayal?  What profits them?  I am sure I cannot figure it out.  They all claim to be patriots but they are at the opposite end of the scale surely.  They are normally people of rather high intelligence but they are somehow blinded to their own stupidity and I can only wonder if they are not, to some measure, insane, and should be dealt with on that level.

Whistleblowers: The New Western Worry

For the sake of clarity, I am not speaking here of corporate whistle-blowers who have found some practice detrimental to safety or such, but rather to these people placed in positions of trust and who, when our backs are turned, betray that trust.  And, what is more puzzling to me is that they readily attract a following of champions among those whom they have betrayed.  Most odd.  This Edward Snowden, for example, and I mention him only because he is the latest in a long line of treacherous persons to betray us all, has almost divided a nation with a staggering number portraying him as a hero.  He is anything but.  Why ever would you idolise someone who, by their own admission, is a blatant liar and guilty of extreme treachery?  That doesn’t make any sense to me. 

The common claim of these turncoats is that their own government, including government agencies protecting the citizens of the country, has become corrupted and secretive.  And they, for some reason known only to them, believe they have the right to leak these secret documents to the rest of the world.  Now, how paranoid is that?  Are these agencies being secretive and are they spying on other countries—including our allies—and on us?  Of course.  Did you expect any different?  Do you want it to be different?  A country that is today an ally may, with a simple change in government policy, become belligerent tomorrow.  And would you want your country to have advance warning of a terrorist threat or would you want them to find out after the atrocious event wiped out your family in a senseless act of violence?  If that occurred, would you accept the excuse that they, the government, didn’t know it was going to happen because they didn’t think it was nice or neighbourly to spy on another country?  I doubt it.  How about our government spying on us, does that bother you?  It shouldn’t.  Almost all acts of terrorism and criminality are conducted by home-grown malcontents.  And it is not just terrorism we are talking about here, it is the gathering of intelligence against massive criminal undertakings by certain elements of our citizens as well as criminal undertakings by other countries, sometimes just for profit, but just as often for creating mischief.  And if you even consider being indignant, thinking that it is an invasion of your privacy, then you might want to think again, for you really couldn’t care less.  Your cell phone can be tracked anywhere there is a signal.  This means anyone, not just some government agency can find you whenever they want and find wherever you’ve been and it is just as simple as downloading a free app from the Internet.  Not only that, anyone can harvest all of your conversations just as readily.  Does this give you pause and make you want to bury your cell phone in a drawer?  Hah!  You will go on all day each day making calls from your cell phone and never think twice about privacy.  It is astounding the amount of information people are not only just willing but are eager to place on social networks about the most intimate details of their day, and then express concern about identity theft.  So, clearly, you do not consider it an invasion of your privacy.  There is scant need for moral indignation at this late date.

Yes, I should hope my government is monitoring every message going through cyberspace because I know that individuals and other countries are doing it to our country and even to me (and you).  The theft, by hacking, of corporate secrets and formulas by China, for instance, is just now becoming public knowledge.  They, and every other country, especially those that are distrustful of us have been doing so from the moment they first became able to do so.  Now that we use computers, we don’t need to train as many spies, and it is now harder to get caught while doing the spying.  Technology is a wonderful tool.  That these countries are monitoring our domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies as well as our secret spy agencies is a given.  They would be very remiss and foolish not to do so.  Are they looking at what you are doing on your computer and laptop?  Why yes.  Do they care what you are talking about?  Not likely, no more than your own government cares what you are talking about, that is unless you say certain words in a certain order that the whirring computers happen to recognise and flag.  And even then there are neither enough people nor hours in the day to bother with what you were talking about.  You will just likely be flagged by the computer to see if more of those critical phrases turn up or if you dial certain numbers that are on a watch list.

Another thing in common with these supposed moral guardians is that they want to force the government into telling the truth.  Or that is what they say.  They don’t.  They are paranoid and paranoid people are incapable of understanding or even of telling the truth.  Each of them will claim that the government is plotting to kill them or imprison them wrongfully and that is why they are taking refuge in a country not likely to extradite them to face criminal charges.   Do you not think that assassinating them might add to the controversy just a little bit?  And our courtrooms are very public places.  The government is not afraid of the truth but they wisely don’t want it blabbed all over the place where we can be robbed of any advantage withholding it gave us.  Do you want the truth?  You already know it.  Your government is doing every sneaky, underhanded and (even) illegal thing it can get away with to keep your country and you safe.  That is the truth.  Does that worry you?  Not me.  I know that other countries that have no compunction about such nefarious activity are doing it to us and are more likely to use it against us.  Moreover, any dissident under their regime is readily declared an enemy of the state and subjected to a quick trial with a foregone verdict and sentence, it would seem.  I like our way much better, for you can stand on a street corner and say what you like where only a passing pigeon is likely to express its viewpoint on your rants.

The other thing you are expected to believe is that such disclosures will lead to a more open government.  What a load of crap.  It will have the opposite effect.  That strange, and also paranoid, fellow, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, spread countless documents across the web that were stolen from US embassies around the world.  Many of these were most embarrassing, some were quite dangerous releases and several gave our potential enemies a leg-up they didn’t have before.  Do you suppose that all documents within the embassies are not encrypted now and measures put in place to destroy all written notes that could possibly surface at a later date?  Do you recall that story from your childhood where the sun and the wind are arguing over which is the more powerful?  The wind attempts to blow the overcoat off a man who is passing by but the harder it blows, the tighter the man holds his coat to his body.  The sun then comes out and beams its warmth and the man very quickly discards the heavy coat.  All that these disclosures have done is to show us where the holes are and to make certain that they and any other possible source are plugged tight.

None of these disclosures by any of the whistle-blowers do anything to better your position; quite the opposite in fact.  They simply cost you more money as new and safer systems must then be devised since the old systems have been compromised.    They do, however, benefit our potential enemies for they not only confirm what we are doing but describe in some detail how we are doing it.  Knowing that, they, our potential enemies, can easily make themselves invisible to us once more.  Now, if I were a foreign power and I wanted to access documentation that would let me know how well your spy agencies had penetrated my classified vaults, the simplest way is to get some easily manipulated egotistical idiot with delusions of grandeur to get the documents for me.  How?  Groom someone with access to the information I want and pretend to be his friend, his confidant, and someone who is also fed up with secrecy of the government.  You don’t ask them to steal the documents for you (that might just start some distant alarm bells ringing), you suggest they should be sent to a newspaper or a website that publishes such things (to supposedly keep the government open and honest), and then tell them they would be a hero.  If they don’t steal the documents and blab the information, nothing has been lost, and if they do, I get what I want just by reading the newspapers or going on-line to the website.  No risk, no problem.  That is precisely how you used to turn spies in the old days to get them to work for you, though it used to come with some reward.  No reward is offered now and these poor people are left to suffer the consequences of their own miserable actions, but they do get a lot of fame for a while and their name in the papers.  They will not be able to get such a good job again, though.

So, why do they do it?  I really do not know.  You do not get to work on classified material without signing some equivalent to the Official Secrets Act and you are told of the penalties for betrayal.  If you find some disappointment or disquiet with what you are discovering, then you can ask for a transfer to some other division or even some other agency.   Surely, no one who can hack into computers, for example, is of such honest character and integrity themselves that they are offended to learn their government makes use of hackers to gather intelligence?  That is why they were recruited in the first place.  And they didn’t learn the fine art of stealth-hacking without intentionally sneaking in through someone’s back door on their computer.  So, why the holier than thou attitude?  I simply do not believe them, nor should you when they try to tell you it is for the greater good.  The guy I want to hear from is the guy I can trust; not the guy who said he could be trusted, promised he could be trusted, swore he could be trusted and proved, to our detriment, that he could not.

As you read this, there are several thousand people hacking into computers all around the world and doubtless they will try to see what is on yours someday, maybe even today.  Some of the hackers are individuals just honing their skills with advice from the Internet, others are criminal gangs targeting sites that have not been too secure with your credit card information or checking what shipments are in what containers that may offer a decent hijacking profit.  Many however, are trained foreign hackers of other governments gathering intelligence about us, stealing corporate secret information from us and searching out our weaknesses.  We sure don’t need any blabbermouths making it all too easy for them.  I want my government watching the watchers.  I want my government protecting and safeguarding me and if that means they get to monitor what I am up to, then it means they are also monitoring what you are doing, and that makes me sleep better.

We, you and I, live where we get to change our government every few years and, believe me, this pretty much keeps our acronymic agencies toeing the line, including those buried so deep you have probably never heard of them.  Don’t subscribe to these silly conspiracy theories that we are headed for an Orwellian dystopia, especially when you know how untrustworthy the source is.

David Edwards

Read 5583 times Last modified on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 07:36
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