There were two other people in the movie theatre when I went to see the latest movie by Oliver Stone, Snowden. I think it is one of the most important movies ever made. Stone’s movie closely follows the documentary, Citizen 4, about the man and the journalist who broke the story, that the United States Federal Government was spying indiscriminately on the citizens of the World—by every means possible, on all of us. Foreign and domestic, just in case there might be a reason to.
The man, Edward Snowden, wanted to be in the Special Forces as a soldier. The stress fractures in his leg bones had other plans for him. Forced out of covert boots-on-the-ground training, Snowden took up cyber spying and was he ever good at it. The fact that the US Government was indiscriminately spying, without cause or court order, on the Countrymen and Countrywomen he had signed on to protect, didn’t sit well with him.
Snowden was enjoying life in Hawaii, deeply in love with his partner and making great money as a military intelligence contractor. He gave it all up and risked his life and liberty to stand up for what he believed in. Edward Snowden believed in the right for United States citizens to know that their government was illegally collecting data on them. Snowden thought that the people should utilize the law and the checks and balances of government, to decide if this was okay with them.
Turned out that the people didn’t much care. Turns out that the average person believes that they have nothing to hide from the United States of America. The average person doesn’t want to think that they are living in a police state. The average person is too busy working and being entertained to rest, so they can work some more, to be able to afford basic necessities and at least basic entertainment, to have the time to follow what is going on. If you had the time to read that run on sentence and aren’t familiar with the story, read on.
It appears that US intelligence agencies have the capacity to listen in to the inner workings of every corporation, every wealthy family member and every dishonest politician anywhere. There are no missing emails, no not knowing who is doing the hacking, as the US Government has vast capacity to hack it all. It just is a question of who to focus on.
Decisions on who to focus on and what to do with the information obtained can be made in so many ways it is incomprehensible.
How decisions are made to rain down smart bombs, cruise missiles, missile armed drones and Navy Seal strikes based on some pieces of information, is none of your or my business, because we don’t need to know.
Decisions are made to buy and sell, bribe and extort. By identifying weak points in any individual’s personal profile, social history or present personal or social situation, pressure can be applied. Almost anybody can be influenced to do anything if the right information is obtained.
The US Government collects all sorts of information on everybody just in case it might be of use later.
If you want to believe that Edward Snowden is a traitor to his country so you don’t believe anything he says, feel free. If you believe that spying on everybody is the price that needs to be paid to spot the terrorists before they do their thing, you can.
If you believe that a Government “By the People and for the People” eventually turns against the people, because that’s just the way some people are, you might not want to see this movie. It might keep you up at night.
My feel-good filter for these dastardly deeds goes something like this: Evil is what Good needs to grow and it is where Good returns to make more Evil in order for more Good to grow. I am with those who believe that this process just goes on and on. It is not all headed for some heaven on earth, nor is it an absurd joke. It just is the way that it is and most people have trouble comprehending Evil for what it is. This is not the Universe’s fault.
On a less abstract level, it is well accepted that the military industrial complex drives innovation in technology, as it has since the beginning of the species. The small tribes of homo sapiens who had the better means of killing other homo sapiens, thrived to pass on their genetic material. The more peace-loving technologies didn’t do as well.
The data collection technology, that Edward Snowden couldn’t keep a secret, showed the world how far technology has progressed toward wiping out barriers for people to connect with people, without reference to any specific characteristics. The only prerequisite is have a language of some kind with which to communicate.
I guess this is just the way history works. It works while most people aren’t watching, but are rather being watched.
Greed and obtaining power over others is the primary occupation of the few and they know what they are doing. The vast majority of these people are men.
The vast majority of men and women are occupied with making a decent living and experiencing incredible loving.
The majority is more and more exposed to how the power elite, greedy minority does what it does, by movies like, Snowden. Can the majority bear to watch?
Those that can, consider Edward Snowden to be a hero. Those that can’t quite yet, don’t do much considering. Those that can’t quite watch and see what the US Federal Government is doing, might be advised to watch what they are doing.
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