One nation under God, and under surveillance

SnowdenSo a 29-year-old man, Edward Snowden, earning $122,000 a year as a security analyze, whom law professor Jeffrey Toobin describes as an expert on absolutely nothing, takes classified intelligence material and gives it to a Guardian newspaper reporter, Glenn Greenwald, to do with it as he will.

Snowden, who had signed an agreement with his employer not to reveal any of the information he was privy to, knew that he had broken the law, fled to Hong Kong or wherever, and is waiting to be apprehended.

Snowden and many of his now-followers believe he has given the world our country’s intelligence secrets that will destroy the CIA, at the same time revealing to our citizens how extensively our country has spied on us, totally destroying our privacy.

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Does anybody really believe we have any privacy? There is nothing Snowden has given to the world that the world and those who want to kill us, don’t already have.

Our government’s permission to spy on us was granted by our congressmen and congresswomen in their approval of the Patriot Act of October 26, 2001, 45 days after we were attacked by Al Queda. The Patriot Act was read by only a few congressmen and women and with barely any debate.

Many in and out of government spoke and wrote against the act as being unconstitutional, that is, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution preserving the rights of privacy by placing restrictions on searches and seizures. Nonetheless, provisions of the Patriot Act have been extended several times, the last being on May 26, 2011 for four years. These extensions were not done in secret, but with the full knowledge of Congress.

Activists Rally In New York In Support Of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

Many who are now frightened at the loss of their privacy because of the Patriot Act have likely not been aware of the act itself, or of its extensions through the years. In the meantime much of the guarantee of privacy of the Fourth Amendment has withered as the scope of the world-wide internet has grown almost beyond comprehension.

It is very probable that the very people who are now the most outraged to learn of their so-called loss of privacy which they believe their government as appropriated, are the people who are the least informed of the specifics and extent of the Patriot Act.

Snowden’s revelations to the world are hollow. A just punishment  for his breaking the law would not be prison; it would be our indifference. He hides, we don’t look for him. Nor do we give Ron Paul and his fiery indignation, or Glenn Greenwald any more face time. As for Daniel Ellsworth who gave a “shout out” to Snowden, and is history’s primo whistleblower having some input in ending the Vietnam War, the internet world left him behind in the Lyndon Johnson age.

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It may surprise readers here to learn that I was ferociously opposed to the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001, believing it took away our civil liberties. But after these twelve years I understand many of those liberties, especially privacy, no longer exist.

Spy away, government!  What you can’t find on some of my records, just check Gmail, Netflix, Verizon, Citibank, Ralphs, Palm Desert library, and other sources. The have it all.

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About June Stephenson

June Stephenson is the author of 20 books about women’s issues, parental responsibility, the humanities, philosophy, comparative religion, music, architecture, parenting, sexual abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, incest, crime, women’s studies, aging, tyranny, family, marriage, and divorce. The accomplished author has a degree from Stanford in economics and a Ph.D. in psychology with 25 years of teaching experience in history and English. Stephenson’s well-researched and documented approach combined with an easy-to-read style, offers readers enrichment and enjoyment. She also is an award-winning artist with many red ribbons from juried art shows throughout California. Stephenson has two daughters and two granddaughters, and lives in Palm Desert, California, with her Labradoddle named Happy.

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