Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Other Snowden Revelations

Allow me to hop on the bandwagon and make a few comments about Edward Snowden from a slightly different angle.

There have been legitimate questions concerning the apparent ease with which he copied highly confidential information, his background, and the escape. They seem sensible queries, without the fingerprints of Disinformation Agents. However, observations and gut feelings have convinced me that Snowden is genuine. 

Most of these operational puzzles can be answered if we let go of one assumption: That the US secret machinery, powerful as it is, must be competent like what we see in movies. People who have worked for major multinationals might agree that the functioning of huge organisations is appallingly less coherent and rational than what outsiders might perceive. A simple example: The computer servers of most companies, big or small, are maintained by an outside contractor or a relatively junior staff member. No highly paid senior person is willing — or capable of — maintaining the system. Now, unless top executives exchange confidential correspondence by hand-written notes, relatively junior technicians could access them if they want to, including an audit trail of the Chairman’s furtive visits to unwholesome websites during office hours.

This problematic practice applies to governments as well. The only solution is to employ people you trust, and appeal not only to their skills and wallets, but heart, pride and loyalty as well. 

The US Government's double-standard and grotesque hypocrisy is not new, but becoming outrageously blatant during the past decade. As a result, it risks alienating the educated elite — the most informed Americans. In the old days, an idealistic facade gave the people a sense of mission; the best of America were proud to serve. Increasingly, only imperial fanatics and under-qualified individuals (who would otherwise be paid a fraction in the normal job market) would join the globally subversive and warmongering machines. However, intelligent people are more likely to think for themselves, and are unreliable Brown Shirts or Red Guards material. Occasionally, some of them will have the courage to do something about the injustice and abuse that come across their terminals. Snowden is a heartening example. This is the ultimate People Power.

The obvious “solution” for the US Government is either to live up to the American ideal, or hire only empire hooligans with neither courage or principle. Either solution would be good for the world in the long run, though the latter means they could become even more dangerous in the short term.

One baffling thing about the “debates” on whether the US Government was justified in brazenly committing yet another international crime is the 911 excuse. My jaded question is: How could anyone find 911 remotely credible, given all the evidence, in 2013? So far, it seems to be yet another case of faith triumphing over facts and science. But unless they reclassify physics as "conspiracy theory", the truth will have to emerge one day.

A group of brave American engineers and architects (these traditionally conservative professionals are now “conspiracy theorists”, of course) seem to be making headway in making more people re-think 911. To the silent professionals and academics who pretend not to notice the metaphysical collapses of THREE (not two!) WTC towers, why are they not trying to understand the phenomena better in research laboratories to improve the safety of American buildings? Can't get a research grant? Alternatively, they could organise a study tour to Chechnya (or any country for that matter) to learn evidently superior design and building techniques (watch how a Chechnya building stand up in a MUCH bigger fire here). 

Chinese Version 斯洛登的启示:

Guo Du Blog :  25 June 2013

1 comment:

James Tam 谭炳昌 (过渡) said...

And there's one aspect about this universal data theft that I have not seen mentioned anywhere: Control of politicians.

Like Hypponnen suggested, everyone but total idiots or hypocritical naysayers have no need for privacy. It's probably true that most ordinary folks' embarrassing, even "illicit" or grayish footprints in cyberspace are of no consequence right now. But if they should become important or ambitious one day, especially politically, their files will be scrutinised. In populist democracies, especially ones with a moralistic facade, this can make or break candidates. An audit trail of scheming discussions with a political ally (what politician wouldn't?), secretive ventures into xxx sites (Bill Clinton would have for sure, had it been available), private admission to having driven home a bit tipsy last night etc etc can ruin their political career if "leaked" to the "free press". . . unless they cooperate, or are already one of them.

Most politicians have a giant basket of dirty laundry. The effective control over them is therefore substantial, especially if Democracy has been successfully sold or imposed in their countries. The baffling impotence of the US Congress could be partly due to this simple mechanism?