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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/4/14

NSA's Bleating over Snowden Revelations Continue to Ring Hollow

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Keith Alexander - Caricature
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Caricature of NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander

Here's some of the latest "bleatings" coming out of the NSA.

According to an article in the local newspaper [1] , early last year NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander wanted to sell Congress on the NSA's ability to defend the computer networks of private U.S. firms from cyberattacks, (not a bad idea).

Knowing the "agency" could scan internet traffic of malicious malware from foreign sources Alexander was intent on presenting his case before Congress.

Then came the Snowden revelations, exposing the NSA's monitoring of virtually everyone on the planet. Oops, Alexander's proposal had to be put on the shelf. Even he realized when it becomes universal knowledge the NSA intercepts all electronic communications traffic of virtually everyone in the U.S. and foreign allies alike, the "agencies" credibility has become so compromised, even in a situation where it could be seen as acting benevolently, his plan became a non-starter.

So now in a snit, the "agency", its various cyber security "experts", pundits and fellow travelers are on the counter-attack blaming Snowden for U.S. banks, defense industries, telecom companies and other large institutions for being vulnerable to foreign cyber attackers ability to crash their computer networks.

But the NSA's whining is mostly falling on deaf ears. Simply put, everyone now knows the NSA is the INITIATOR of cyberwarfare against all others so their truth credibility is next to zero in the eyes of most foreigners.   And it gets little sympathy from an American public when they learn they've been indiscriminately targeted, have done nothing wrong and where the "agency" has no probable cause. So, the idea of the "agency" doing right by the public is rejected out of hand.

Consider; Snowden's revelations of the NSA spying on Petrobras, Brazil's largest energy corporation convinced those overseas the NSA obviously conducts economic espionage. Then there's the NSA's clandestine "back door" entry into American software products sold to foreign clients which has enraged the software manufacturers and caused billions in lost profits. Throw in the revelations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal cell being monitored, the intercepting of communications of Brazils President Dilma Rouseff and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the office of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the like and lest we forget the U.S. initiated "Stuxnet" cyberwarfare attack disrupting Iran's computers enriching uranium in 2010 and its pretty clear the U.S. has been at the forefront in initiating cyberwarfare.

And if we're to believe the government's propaganda pronouncements of the NSA's good intentions, it's snooping done to protect the American people, but also kept secret for reasons of national security, it becomes bleating in the wilderness.

A funny thing though; the American people were never consulted on the clandestine snooping done on them and in their name. They only found out about the NSA's massive monitoring activities by Snowden's whistleblowing which also revealed the lies told to Congress by Alexander and Director of National Security James Clapper (with the latter retaining his post even though he's in contempt of Congress.

This government of ours has yet to conclude just because it has the technological capability to do something it doesn't automatically mean you should use it.

There's also that "little" consideration of what has apparently become antiquated; whether using that technological innovation is legal and constitutional.

When the Constitution becomes something for the government to circumvent or ignore in its sole discretion as it expediently monitors everything without reasonable cause it has crossed the threshold into official wrongdoing and bleating over Snowden's whistleblowing won't change the nature of its indiscriminate malevolence.

[1] "Leaks left U.S. vulnerable to cyberattacks, experts claim", by Ken Dilanian, "Tribune Washington Bureau" for "The Baltimore Sun", February 3, 2014.

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