During the last few days many people in the West have questioned what their government is up to. In the UK we have also been wondering once again what the American government is up to and how deeply the British government is involved.
Allegations that the USA has been using its sophisticated technology to snoop at the online activity and telephone conversations of citizens has rankled, to say the least. News from the US administration that it has not used information gleaned from its own citizens does nothing to reassure people in Europe.
The US administration is of course running scared of accusations that it is breaching the American Constitution. Unable to do so and make the USA a safer place by tightening gun laws, it would be ironic if it has done so to secretly spy on its citizens. With echoes of the cold-war and communist spying once again the States proves it is a threat to world peace and freedom.
Behind the claim that it wants to stop terrorism the USA is acting as the world's unofficial and often unwanted police force. We already know that it will stop at nothing to fulfil what it views as its mission. Look no further than drone attackls killing civilians in Pakistan for proof.
Today British Foreign Secretary William Hague will address the UK Parliament about how much or little the UK has been involved in snooping. The British spy intelligence representatives at GCHQ in London refusing to comment says it all. Hague will wriggle and squirm but it will be hard to believe a word he says more than ever now.
Under the alleged mission of preventing terrorism Western governments are behaing improperly. That is a fact. Officials may carefully say that they are acting within the framework of what is legal in the UK but in reality that means nothing. It is time for some clear and honest answers, which most sensible people already realise will not be forthcoming.
After a few days of lies and more from politicians the man behind the revelations. Edward Snowden, has come out of hiding. A brave move although he is out of western clutches, at least for now, in Hong Kong. Monday Russia Today reports:
The former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, had asked the Guardian to reveal his identity and had never planned on hiding. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said in an interview.
Mr Snowden was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2012. He used this condition as a reason for time away from work. On May 20 he completed his preparations for the "leak" before left his work at a NSA office in Hawaii. He flew to Hong Kong but accepts that his fate could be rendition, jail or death. Coming out of the "whistle blower closet" will not necessarily save him, as we know from people such as Julian Assange one of America's most wanted for publishing the truth.
A former member of the US military and a veteran of the Iraq war Snowden became disillusioned with America's war on Arabs. He claims to have hoped for change when Obama took on the Presidential role in 2008 but now accepts it is just more of the same, as far as some government policies go.
Mr Snowden told the Guardian:
“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world. I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.” Snowden said that in Switzerland the idea of leaking government information first came to mind, however he hoped that the election of Barack Obama in 2008 would reform the government’s policy.
And many people, including this writer, agree.
Already Republicans in the USA are gunning for Edward, demanding that he is extradited back to the USA. What they show again is a lack of responsibility amongst other traits. They fail to see that it is what this man saw and experienced that turned him into a whistle blower.
People such as Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange allowed ordinary people a glimpse into what really goes on behind the closed doors of intelligence agencies and governments. Many people did not like what they saw and realised their leaders are not what or who they seem.
Punishing Snowden will just prove what most of us are starting to believe, that our western governments do not act for nor represent the people who they were elected to serve but instead work for a small group of Elite individuals and themselves.
Good luck to Edward Snowden, another hero in the making.