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The NSA is a Disgrace

October 25, 2013


    The shameful actions taken by the NSA have exposed the common virtues of “blind allegiance” and “unbridled patriotism” held by many U.S. citizens towards their government as a complete sham.

    by Jerry Robinson, Editor-in-Chief

    According to a newly leaked NSA memo written halfway through George W. Bush’s second term, the U.S. has monitored the phone calls of at least 35 world leaders. The NSA apparently obtained these phone numbers by encouraging all government departments to share their ‘rolodexes’ with the intelligence gathering agency. But despite secretly tapping the phone calls of the world’s top leaders, the memo admits that the eavesdropping program yielded “little reportable intelligence.”

    One leader recently mentioned among those targeted by the NSA’s vast eavesdropping program was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to the report, Merkel’s own mobile phone was tapped by the NSA.

    This is in addition to another recent report that the NSA secretly hacked into the email account of former Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto. The Mexican government has condemned the revelations as “unacceptable, illegitimate and contrary to Mexican law and international law.”

    Recently, when Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff learned of the enormous surveillance her government and people were being subjected to by the NSA, she cancelled a planned trip to Washington in protest and then used her speech at this year’s United Nations General Assembly to deliver a scathing message of condemnation against the U.S. and its covert snooping operations.

    Another recently leaked document showed that France was heavily targeted by the NSA. According to a report, released in the French newspaper, Le Monde, the NSA recorded data from over 70 million phone calls and text messages of French citizens from December 10, 2012 to January 8, 2013. This is in addition to other revelations that the NSA had secretly monitored the office of the French Foreign Ministry. Additionally, Le Monde reported that the NSA intercepted 124.8 billion phone calls and 97.1 billion computer data items globally during a one month period in early 2013.

    The Blowback is Just Beginning

    So far, European lawmakers have responded to the recent allegations through legislative measures designed to shield citizens from online surveillance. One such proposal would “require American companies like Google and Yahoo to seek clearance from European officials before complying with United States warrants seeking private data.” Those U.S. companies who failed to comply would face stiff fines that could reach into the billions of euros. This proposed measure, which would require the full support of the European Parliament, has already faced severe red tape through fierce U.S. lobbying pressure and intervention from British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

    When it was revealed that the NSA was spying on international bank transfers, including EU citizens’ bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT, the European Parliament angrily responded by passing a resolution calling for the the suspension of an EU-US bank sharing data deal.

    But these are likely just the beginnings of the fallout that America will face from its enemies and allies over the disgraceful actions taken by the NSA. I truly believe we have yet to see the full impact that Edward Snowden’s courageous act will have upon America. But America doesn’t quite seem to grasp just how angry the world has become over these egregious violations of national sovereignty.

    In a recent USA Today op/ed piece defending the NSA’s vast phone tapping surveillance system, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein (R-CA), claimed that “the call-records program is not surveillance.”

    Former NSA contractor and whistleblower, Edward Snowden immediately fired back in a recent statement claiming:

    “Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA’s hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They’re wrong.”

    America’s top intelligence agencies, along with the Obama administration, would have us believe that the recent NSA revelations are merely commonplace occurrences that are hardly newsworthy. After all, Obama himself has declared that all nations spy on each other.

    And when pressed by reporters, Obama mouthpiece (White House Press Secretary) Jay Carney stated:

    “We have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.”

    Maybe so. Maybe not.

    I think it is a bit absurd to think that other nations, like Brazil and Mexico, have the vast intelligence capabilities owned by the United States. And besides, America’s cavalier attitude towards its clear violation of the sovereignty of other nations is embarrassing. After all, is it not the United States that has beaten its chest over the themes of liberty, freedom, democracy, and national sovereignty?

    Of course, in America’s defense, the citizens have never quite understood the concept of “blowback.” That is, when you punch someone in the gut, they get angry. When you drop bombs on innocent civilians in the cover of night, people get angry. When you invade other nations in the name of “democracy,” and leave them in worse shape than you found them, people get angry. When you invade other people’s privacy, they don’t like it. It is a very simple concept that has apparently sailed right over the heads of millions of American voters, as witnessed in recent elections.

    Leave it to America to create millions of new enemies within former allied nations all in a quest for increased “national security.”

    The NSA is a Disgrace

    The sooner the NSA is permanently dismantled, the better. And the quicker that the American people recognize the courage displayed by Edward Snowden for standing up to the American empire, the better. Sadly, American politicians have sought to skirt the issue, or change the topic.

    For example, millions of Tea-party Republicans cheered Senator Ted Cruz and others for seeking to abolish Obamacare as they maintained full support for the NSA and America’s growing police state.

    Meanwhile, the corporate-controlled mainstream media has attempted to convince the American people that NSA surveillance is normal. Only a handful of political journalists have done their job by confronting the Obama administration with meaningful questions over the legality of the NSA and America’s growing police state.

    The shameful actions taken by the NSA have exposed the common virtues of “blind allegiance” and “unbridled patriotism” held by many U.S. citizens towards their government as a complete sham.
    Amazingly, there are those who will attempt to defend America’s innumerable and consistent violations against the sovereignty of other nations, even as they pay lip-service to the concepts of “freedom” and “liberty.”

    Their sin is rooted in a willful ignorance of history. They falsely believe that by permitting America’s unprecedented surveillance powers to grow unchecked, they themselves will benefit from increasing levels of “national security.” Perhaps America truly is the first government in world history that operates out of sheer altruism. Perhaps America’s only aim in spying on the entire world, including its own citizens, is simply to provide “national security.” But those who trust in the goodness of government do so against all sound historical precedent. Throughout history, those who trusted in government overreach did so to their own peril. If history is any indication, a miscalculation of America’s true intentions in its Orwellian surveillance state will carry severe repercussions.

    Finally, I expect future generations to look favorably upon the actions taken by Edward Snowden. I sincerely doubt that those reading the story about Edward Snowden and the NSA one hundred years from now will think to themselves: “Gee, why didn’t the American people want this Snowden guy waterboarded, locked in an 8 x 8 cell, and brought out occasionally to be force-fed?” No, if our progeny is any more advanced than our modern age, they will recognize the courage displayed by Edward Snowden.

    And if my faith in the sanity of the human race prevails, future generations will applaud America’s decision to arrest and prosecute all of those involved within the NSA hierarchy to the fullest extent of the law for their treasonous actions against America and the world.

    The NSA Tyranny: Where’s the Outrage?

    Note: Want our latest insights on the European stock markets? Check out our exclusive “Charting Europe 2013” Report now online. Exclusively for FTM Insiders! View Now.

    Miss the latest FTMWeekly Radio Show with Jerry Robinson? Listen/Download Below

    Topic: The writing is on the wall, the barbarians are at the gate, and the sun is setting on the American experiment.

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