It is never easy speaking power to authority. The saying that for those who do, the communicator should always have a fast horse nearby is more than just a precautionary tale. More than one noble soul endeavoring to expose injustice has ended up paying the price of lost anonymity, a wrecked family life, and sustained serious character assassination for their endeavors. We commonly refer to those who speak up as, “ Whistleblowers.”
Enduring the suspicions of fellow workers, the oppressive tactics of suspecting bosses, and having to live with the ultimate lack of support of friends and family members is all part of what a whistleblower can expect. Perhaps you remember some famous whistleblowers, such as Daniel Ellsberg, Ralph Nader or Mark Feldt? For me, whistleblower Jeffery Wigand, who exposed the tobacco industry for juicing up cigarettes to make them more addictive, comes to mind as the quintessential whistleblower. Whistleblowers have alerted us to wrongdoings in the nuclear industry, the automobile industry and the airline industry accordingly.
The newest name in consideration for this relatively small group of game changers is Edward Snowden. Although the jury is still out as to whether Mister Snowden is a true whistleblower or just an employee who released information he was paid to keep secret, he now joins a list of very special people less concerned about their personal safety than they do about righting a wrong they feel must be addressed. In Snowden’s case, the information released revealed that our government has been involved in all forms of communication spying on the American public for a very long time!
The release by what news sources are now calling a “relatively low level, outside contractors employee”working on security issues for the NSA (National Security Association) pronounces the government has the ability to tap anyone’s phone in America; and has. The idea the government is collecting information not necessarily as part of any ongoing criminal investigation requiring warrants and judges, but on what might be called fishing expeditions, is very disturbing. The release also confirms that the government posses very high tech software that can draw links between two callers, helping the government to address terrorist acts before they occur. Again, personal freedom out the window for the greater cause of all our safety?
Letting the cat out of the bag on this has moved Mister Snowden to the head of the public enemy number one list in the eyes of the government. Given the fact news reports are referring to Snowden as a low level employee signals the beginning of his discrediting for doing what he has done by the main stream media. Apparently the government is not as keen on transparency as we all have been led to believe!
As for most Americans getting upset over the revelations their government is spying on them, the jury is still out. Petitions are in the works supporting Mister Snowden’s actions, while some TV bubble heads are calling this a major breech of national security. Both sides on the traitor or not issue are wondering how someone without a high school diploma and major clearances could find out this kind of information in the first place? Apparently a couple hundred thousand outside contractors have the same security clearance Mister Snowden had, yet all remained tight-lipped over the information.
It is ironic in any case we would be upset about this security breech, given the fact we now live in a world where an entire generation posts daily updates on what they eat, who they eat it with, their personal statistics, plus pictures of themselves including posts of a very personal nature for anyone to see at any time! One might ask, who needs to spy?