We’ve all be SLAMMED with information about the National Security Agencies (NSA’s) “PRISM” project, so please allow me to apologize in advance for this posting if you are sort of “done” with PRISM. However, I have had enough people ask me about it given my background as a Data Analytics expert, as well as my background from another life. I will attempt to make my point as clear as possible, but I understand that we may not agree. Either way, hang in there with me and let’s work through this together.Mr. Snowden took an oath when he joined the US Army. He was given his security clearance and increased access after leaving the Army due to an accident that broke both of his legs. He swore to never, EVER disclose any classified information…PERIOD. If he had a beef with what was being done…he had avenues to go to BEFORE going to a LIBERAL newspaper in the UK (The UK Guardian). There are avenues in the United States for him to go to…there always have been when dealing with classified information.
When I was in the US Military I took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic.” Employees of the National Security Agency also take a similar oath: “We treasure the U.S. Constitution and the rights it secures for all the people” and also, to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Ed Snowden…you screwed up. You broke the law…no two ways around that one. You also broke the trust that both you and I, along with countless others have taken. Some of you will mute the rest of this, but please keep reading.
I am a Patriot…I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America. I have worked with the various Intelligence agencies over the course of my life and the people that work for them are some of the most dedicated and professional people that I have EVER worked with in my entire career. My opinion of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency has NOT been changed by the accusations of Mr. Snowden. Having said that, I understand that Mr. Snowden has some concerns that are plausible…especially when you consider the numerous scandals that have hit the present administration. But Mr. Snowden also was not someone who had the authority OR the knowledge to make this call on his own. He DID NOT have the entire picture.
If Mr. Snowden believes that what he did…exposing National Security information, was in the best interest of the Constitution then he needs to QUIT RUNNING and turn himself in…or at least start negotiations to do so. Let the system work. Of course, you need to BELIEVE in the system n the first place (and this is where I expect to get flamed). If the US Government has broken any laws then you will be proven correct. There have been court cases for years now that have ruled against the US Government over various issues. However…if it is shown that the United States Government DID NOT act outside of the US Constitution, then you need to understand you will likely be charged with treason. My opinion…MAN UP. Turn yourself in or start negotiating. You made the accusations and went outside of the established means of reporting such concerns…but you have not demonstrated that anything has actually been done to violate the privacy of the American public. I liken your actions to those of someone who says “your car can do 140 mph, but the speed limit is 70. I am going to report you”. Just because something can be used incorrectly doesn’t mean that it will be.
I know Big Data Analytics. I know exactly what can be done with this system…but that does not mean that it IS or WILL BE used in a way that is being discussed by Mr. Snowden. The reality is that a major portion of the Internet traffic for the entire world flows through the United States. It is a WELL documented fact that terror networks use the Internet to communicate. It has been documented that terror networks can embed messages in pictures. There have been a good number of stories on this, but here is one from 2001.
My point is this…just because the NSA built the mother of all Data Analytics clusters and wanted to store vast amounts of data does not mean that it will be used against the American public. Let’s just suppose, for a moment, that President Obama and the rest of Washington DC politicians have actually told us the truth…that this system isn’t to be used against the American public. If that is the case, Snowden just weakened a nation and committed treason. If, however, this system IS being used to spy on Americans, then the US Government is guilty violating the Constitution of the United States, and then we have another problem.
Either way…no matter what side of the fence you fall on here, we have a really messy situation on our hands.
Hold on folks…it’s going to be a really bumpy ride for a while.