There are a few potential narratives emerging from the tweets that stood out for me. I chose tweets that were good representations of the flood of tweets, so, for instance, if you see one tweet on ‘turnkey’ tyranny it represents many more similar tweets.
What I have found are these emerging narratives
THE WAR ON TERROR
There is a potential here that Edward Snowden may have touched off a turning point when it comes to Americans’ view on the “War on Terror”. Yes, I get it, the War on Terror is over, according to Obama, but it continues to be the standard go-to line for a heavy-handed government. We needed to violate your rights for the sake of national security.
The Obama Administration is increasingly getting paired with George W Bush over the NSA Scandal. Edward Snowden is becoming the face of the new character the Left is creating- George W Obama. There are even Twitter accounts of the same name. As I have reported in a post yesterday, the Obama administration is in real danger of losing its base.
The Anonymous/Bradley Manning crowd are turning to Edward Snowden as an example of why leaking should be viewed to be heroic. They are challenging, specifically, the people on the right to be as consistent on defending the 4th Amendment as they are the 2nd Amendment. I for one, while I still do not support wikileaks, Bradley Manning, and Anonymous, for their shotgun release of all data with no regard to the security and safety of men and women daily put at risk by their careless releases, do support the 4th Amendment as strongly as I do the 2nd Amendment. Unless we find out more about Edward Snowden, he seems to be one of the few legitimate, bona fide Whistleblowers.
There are people, mostly, sadly, on the right, who are pushing two narratives that are disturbing for their prematurity and serve only to enable a Federal government to take measures against Snowden that could literally cost him his life, with the support of the American people, who will be unwittingly supporting the future potential targeting of…themsleves. One narrative is Snowden is simply a traitor for releasing this informatn, that he put our national security at risk. The other narrative is that Snowden is really a Chinese Spy and the NSA Leak is just a smokescreen to hide his true espionage.
The people who push this narrative, including, Erik Erickson of Red State,
What are the odds that Snowden was a spy for China and this PRISM disclosure is designed to obfuscate what else he did?
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 10, 2013
are potentially serving the extentsion of government power against their own future state of freedom. Unless and until we have a real credible reason to believe such charges, we who love freedom should be very careful before we jump on what the government will want to do with Snowden, demonize, isolate, eliminate. APATHY As this historic, epic interview hit the Twitter airwaves, the top trending topinc was not #NSA or #Snowden. Inteead it was, of all things, the Tony Awards. Apparently a Broadway Musical about a sexual fetish shop called “Kinky Boots’, written by Cyndi Lauper, is of more interest to more people on Twitter last night than the exposure of a national spy program that reveals how unfree we truly are in the Bush-Obama era. Before I get to the tweets, I will include the viral Snowden interview where two new phrases have entered our lexicon, Architecture of Oppression and Turnkey Tyranny: The video is just below. Just after the video, you can read the full transcript. After the transcript, read my Twitter meme emergence timeline: ——— Edward Snowden: “My name is Ed Snowden, I’m 29 years old. I worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as an infrastructure analyst for NSA in Hawaii. Glenn Greenwald: “What are some of the positions that you held previously within the intelligence community?” Snowden: “I’ve been a system’s engineer, systems administrator, senior adviser for the Central Intelligence Agency, solutions consultant, and a telecommunications informations system officer.” Greenwald: “One of the things people are going to be most interested in, in trying to understand what, who you are and what you are thinking is there came some point in time when you crossed this line of thinking about being a whistleblower to making the choice to actually become a whistleblower. Walk people through that decision making process.” Snowden: “When you’re in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale then the average employee and because of that you see things that may be disturbing but over the course of a normal person’s career you’d only see one or two of these instances. When you see everything you see them on a more frequent basis and you recognize that some of these things are actually abuses. And when you talk to people about them in a place like this where this is the normal state of business people tend not to take them very seriously and move on from them.” “But over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about. And the more you talk about the more you’re ignored. The more you’re told its not a problem until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.” Greenwald: “Talk a little bit about how the American surveillance state actually functions. Does it target the actions of Americans?” Snowden: “NSA and intelligence community in general is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible. It believes, on the grounds of sort of a self-certification, that they serve the national interest. Originally we saw that focus very narrowly tailored as foreign intelligence gathered overseas.” “Now increasingly we see that it’s happening domestically and to do that they, the NSA specifically, targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyses them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient, and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone they suspect of terrorism, they’re collecting you’re communications to do so.” “Any analyst at any time can target anyone, any selector, anywhere. Where those communications will be picked up depends on the range of the sensor networks and the authorities that analyst is empowered with. Not all analysts have the ability to target everything. But I sitting at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a Federal judge to even the President if I had a personal e-mail.” Greenwald: “One of the extraordinary parts about this episode is usually whistleblowers do what they do anonymously and take steps to remain anonymous for as long as they can, which they hope often is forever. You on the other hand have decided to do the opposite, which is to declare yourself openly as the person behind these disclosures. Why did you choose to do that?” Snowden: “I think that the public is owed an explanation of the motivations behind the people who make these disclosures that are outside of the democratic model. When you are subverting the power of government that’s a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy and if you do that in secret consistently as the government does when it wants to benefit from a secret action that it took. It’ll kind of give its officials a mandate to go, ‘Hey tell the press about this thing and that thing so the public is on our side.’ But they rarely, if ever, do that when an abuse occurs. That falls to individual citizens but they’re typically maligned. It becomes a thing of ‘These people are against the country. They’re against the government’ but I’m not.” “I’m no different from anybody else. I don’t have special skills. I’m just another guy who sits there day to day in the office, watches what’s happening and goes, ‘This is something that’s not our place to decide, the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.’ And I’m willing to go on the record to defend the authenticity of them and say, ‘I didn’t change these, I didn’t modify the story. This is the truth; this is what’s happening. You should decide whether we need to be doing this.'” Greenwald: “Have you given thought to what it is that the US government’s response to your conduct is in terms of what they might say about you, how they might try to depict you, what they might try to do to you?” Snowden: “Yeah, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Traids. Any of their agents or assets. We’ve got a CIA station just up the road and the consulate here in Hong Kong and I’m sure they’re going to be very busy for the next week. And that’s a fear I’ll live under for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.” “You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk because they’re such powerful adversaries. No one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they’ll get you in time. But at the same time you have to make a determination about what it is that’s important to you. And if living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept, and I think it many of us are it’s the human nature; you can get up everyday, go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows.” “But if you realize that that’s the world you helped create and it’s gonna get worse with the next generation and the next generation who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that’s applied.” Greenwald: “Why should people care about surveillance?” Snowden: “Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.” Greenwald: “We are currently sitting in a room in Hong Kong, which is where we are because you travelled here. Talk a little bit about why it is that you came here and specifically there are going to be people…people speculate that what you really intend to do is to defect to the country that many see as the number one rival of the Untied States, which is China. And that what you are really doing is essentially seeking to aid an enemy of the United States with which you intend to seek asylum. Can you talk a little about that?” Snowden: “Sure. So there’s a couple assertions in those arguments that are sort of embedded in the questioning of the choice of Hong Kong. The first is that China is an enemy of the United States. It’s not. I mean there are conflicts between the United States government and the Chinese PRC government but the peoples inherently we don’t care. We trade with each other freely, we’re not at war, we’re not in armed conflict, and we’re not trying to be. We’re the largest trading partners out there for each other.” “Additionally, Hong Kong has a strong tradition of free speech. People think ‘Oh China, Great Firewall.’ Mainland China does have significant restrictions on free speech but the people of Hong Kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, of making there views known. The internet is not filtered here more so then any other western government and I believe that the Hong Kong government is actually independent in relation to a lot of other leading western governments.” Greenwald: “If your motive had been to harm the United States and help its enemies or if your motive had been personal material gain were there things you could have done with these documents to advance those goals that you didn’t end up doing?” Snowden: “Oh absolutely. Anyone in the positions of access with the technical capabilities that I had could suck out secrets, pass them on the open market to Russia; they always have an open door as we do. I had access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all over the world. The locations of every station, we have what their missions are and so forth.” “If I had just wanted to harm the US? You could shut down the surveillance system in an afternoon. But that’s not my intention. I think for anyone making that argument they need to think, if they were in my position and you live a privileged life, you’re living in Hawaii, in paradise, and making a ton of money, ‘What would it take you to leave everything behind?'” “The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People will see in the media all of these disclosures. They’ll know the lengths that the government is going to grant themselves powers unilaterally to create greater control over American society and global society. But they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interests.” “And the months ahead, the years ahead it’s only going to get worse until eventually there will be a time where policies will change because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy. Even our agreements with other sovereign governments, we consider that to be a stipulation of policy rather then a stipulation of law. And because of that a new leader will be elected, they’ll find the switch, say that ‘Because of the crisis, because of the dangers we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power.’ And there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.” ———————————————- And now, for the Twitter meme emergence of #NSA #Snowden
— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) June 9, 2013
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) June 9, 2013
Snowden says #NSA is collecting EVERYTHING and then sorting it later when they have a suspect. This DIRECTLY contradicts the DNI statement.
— Anonymous (@AnonyOps) June 9, 2013
— ACLUMassachusetts (@ACLU_Mass) June 9, 2013
——– The difficulty for Obama is summarized in the tweet above- linking to a story from Leftist blog, The Daily Kos. As Obama begins to look more and more like Bush, the hardcore base of Obama will begin to erode. We could see, if the erosion actuallly occurs (and I may write futurely about how that might not actually happen), 2014 could be to Obama what 2006 was to Bush.
Americans are tired of defining their entire existence as “Post-9/11”. Terrorism isn’t just violence, it’s an excuse for violence. #Snowden
— Dell Cameron (@dellcam) June 9, 2013
——– Americans, at least some of them, on the Left AND the Right, are beginning to understand that the perpetual War on Terror is what enables, justifies the government’s violation of our Bill of Rights. When The Patriot Act comes up for renewal, expect a real fight, with unexpected allies on both sides of that renewal fight. It shoudl trouble Americans that the NSA has spent hundreds of millions of dollars or more building a massive data collection center that is only justified if the Patriot Act and certain provisions within the Patriot act continue to get renewed. If the Patriot Act is not renewed, the NSA Data collection center is rendered illegal (as, I believe, it should be already).
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) June 9, 2013
——– I am hoping this narrative does emerge. It is telling to me that not long after the Boston Marathon Bombing, a narrative like this is even considered. Is it possible that Americans are beginning to understand that the threat of terrorism is, in the end, at least only JUST as threatening as an over-powerful government that also has the ultimate power to kill you if you are on the wrong side of the government’s view of ‘Citizen’?
Military told not to read Obama-scandal news ow.ly/lRzEy
— IrritatedWoman™ (@irritatedwoman) June 10, 2013
——– An unenforceable order has been issued by the Military, which shows the way the government views Americans. We are a threat to their security. Their goal is not to protect Americans or defend the Constitution, but to defend their turf, the political class empire that has become the US Government.
MEET OUR SOURCE, in his own words: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun…
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 9, 2013
——– Here is the turn, this time from the left- as the Leftist MSM gets caught between the base that pays its bills and the man whose picture is on the nightstand in every bedroom of every MSM Doe-Eyed reporter, how the Leftist MSM eventally reacts to Snowden will tell you, even more than the assaults (justified) on Jay Carney by the MSM, if they are ready to finally get a restraining order from their abusive husband, Barack Obama.
Edward Snowden’s employer calls PRISM leak a ‘grave violation of its code of conduct’ fb.me/2FKZtklGr
— Deutsche IP (@deutscheip) June 10, 2013
@davidcorndc Do you think Snowden shorted his company’s stock? (as he may have single-handedly caused its demise&all those jobs)
— ccyclingfan1 (@ccyclingfan1) June 10, 2013
“The Internet… is a TV that watches you.” — NSA leaker Edward Snowden washingtonpost.com/world/national…
— Kashmir Hill (@kashhill) June 10, 2013
— David Seaman (@d_seaman) June 10, 2013
——– Republicans could also lose their base if they sign up with this Traitor narrative without getting more data than they have at present. When a sitting Republican Congressman, Mike Rogers, goes on national tv and excoriates Snowden on the grounds that Snowden could have went to Congress, it undermines any credibility that person has in being a true protector of ALL of the Bill of Rights. When he does so sitting next to Diane Feinstein, it greatly enhances that erosion of credibillity. Here is the actual video:
——– So while the politically passionate on both sides recognize the Snowden story as being an epic moment in American history, the question is this, how many Americans will be paying attention? If the vast majority of Americans are NOT paying attention, the government will continue to be able to assault our freedoms, freedom we have simply refused to stand up for because we are too busy playing Farmville on Facebook.
Former CIA Operative: U.S. will NEVER get Edward Snowden from China, there’s not a chance… fw.to/WDohjke
— L Copeland (@FixGov) June 10, 2013
Iceland cannot grant asylum to Snowden unless he's there, ambassador says scmp.com/news/world/art…
— Wang Feng (@ulywang) June 10, 2013
“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded.” NSA whistleblower in on-camera talk. guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun…
— Mark Ryan Sallee (@MRSallee) June 10, 2013
Snowden coins new term for surveillance state: turnkey tyranny. guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun…
— Robert Bryce (@pwrhungry) June 10, 2013
——– Here is an excellent tweet- why should we trust the NSA? Why should we trust ANYONE in government? There are so many scandals, ones still emerging even today (including charges of prostitition, sex rings run by security personell). I think the IRS Scandal was a fundamental blow to what little trust any American has in government, this is just an extra bash on that nail. What Snowden does do, however, is contribute to the further weakening of the main progressive meme- The Tea Party are scare mongerers, anti-government racists who just want to undermine the benevolent Obama government. The next time a progressive accuses you of being a scare mongerer, just play the Snowden video.
— Assanganìsta (@Assanganista) June 10, 2013
I assume every die hard 2nd amend supporter must also be a die hard 4th amend supporter, right? Right? #NSA
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) June 10, 2013
——– This is an excellent question. Tea Party? Where do you stand? I will be watching how the Tea Party groups around the country handle the Snowden story. I hope to see a measured response that focuses mainly on the criminal violation of our 4th amendment rights under the Bush-Obama regime.
— Sam Husseini (@samhusseini) June 10, 2013
We encourage you to tell Mike Rogers how you feel about this betrayal of the Bill of Rights. Contact him-
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE2112 Rayburn House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515
- (202) 225-4872
- (202) 225-5820
— billmon (@billmon1) June 9, 2013
— upnorthlive.com (@upnorthlive) June 10, 2013
——– How we as Americans respond, how we ‘poll’ on Snowden will determine the degree to which the government can pursue Edward Snowden, from the covert to the overt. If evidence emerges that shows Snowden to be not just a heroic whistleblower, we should follow that truth where it leads us. But until and unless such credible proof emerges, if we do not stand with Snowden, we do not stand for ourselves. Edward Snowden is us.
There was a video by the left recently on the defense of Bradley Manning. Well, we are not all Bradley Manning. We do not put Americans at risk to promote our political agenda. I do not believe Edward Snowden is Bradley Manning either. Edward Snowden is us. Will we stand for ourselves or stand for a false sense of ‘security’, which will end up being at the good graces of an overbearing, overpowerful government, who might deem you a “Citizen”, protected, or a “Threat”, attacked, based on any criterion they arbitrarily come up with.
In the end, until I see otherwise, I am standing with Edward Snowden and counting him as a Hero, not a Traitor. I hope you will give him the benefit of the doubt as well. Stand for Snowden, stand for Freedom, stand for yourself, because this government has proven it won’t stand for you unless you insist that it does so.