I wish to make a few observations about Edward Snowden from a slightly different angle.
Initially, there were legitimate queries concerning the apparent ease with which he copied highly confidential information, his background, and the escape. They seemed sensible questions, without the fingerprints of Disinformation Agents. But by now, it must be quite clear that Snowden is genuine.
Most of the 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 internet activities during office hours.
This practical constraint applies to governments as well. The only solution is to employ people they 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 without courage or principle. Either solution would be good for the world in the long run, though the latter one 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 however slowly, that will change. Unless they officially reclassify physics as “conspiracy theory”, the truth will have to emerge one day.