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We Should Be More Concerned about the NSA’s Hacking than the supposed Russians’ hacking

I watched Oliver Stone’s film, “Snowden” yesterday and again today. But today, I paused it many times to take notes. I’m going to share just a few cursory notes from my first viewing. If you want to delve deeper into the subject, you’re going to have to do your own homework because I don’t feel it’s healthy for me to do all the work i.e. that doesn’t empower you.  

First of all I want to touch on the intense & amazing amount of criticism that Glenn Greenwald has been under i.e. he’s basically being dismissed as little more than a puppet for the Russians. Watching Stone’s wonderful film it dawned on me that it defies common sense to accuse Greenwald of this supposed betrayal. Edward Snowden chose Glenn Greenwald to release his treasure trove of the NSA’s top secret files because Glenn has a long, track record of standing up to the powers that be. Does it make sense to you that Snowden would entrust such valuable & dangerous information to a dupe of the Russians?  

I feel that the overriding key point of the movie is when Snowden says in regards to the several, illegal spying operations the C.I.A. & the N.S.A. have been conducting around the world, “These spying activities against Americans & other nations isn’t about protecting us from terrorists, it’s about economic & social control over us.” Think about it. Cheney, Bush, etc. were ecstatic when 9/11 happened because it was the perfect cover for them to enact their agenda to gain even more control over us & gave them a blank check to pour trillions of dollars into their military/industrial complex. Look up P.N.A.C. if you want to learn about what I’m speaking of.  

Chalmers Johnson

Snowden goes on to state that “The only thing they’re protecting is the supremacy of the American government.” Chalmers Johnson goes into great detail in his non-fiction trilogy of books starting with “Blowback,” and he states that the actual money the U.S. government spends on the military/industrial complex is actually much closer to a trillion dollars a year. I remember watching a 60 Minutes expose years ago on a program called Echelon, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-snoop-confirms-echelon-network/. This was over 16 years ago and I remember being horrified at their ability to spy on our phone calls, e-mails, etc. back then. They have these huge satellite dishes in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. to pull all this info out of the ether. And it dawned on me when just before we invaded Iraq and it was revealed that the U.S. had spied on the United Nations Security Council to see which way each of the five, permanent member nations would vote that they must’ve used Echelon?  

Moreover, I also remember being quite surprised when the movie, “Enemy of the State” with Will Smith came out in 1998 because I believe that was the first time I’d heard mention of the NSA in the public sphere. I had read a book in my mid-20s about the C.I.A. and its links to the Mafia (can’t remember the exact title right now?) in which Senator Frank Church of Idaho who headed the Church Committee in its investigations of the C.I.A. and its COINTELPRO program which was completely illegal and spied on, infiltrated, and sabotaged Peace organizations in the 60s. In this book, Senator Church made a comment that I’ve never forgotten i.e. “The NSA makes the C.I.A. look like the Mickey Mouse Club. In fact, in this film, “Snowden,” one of Snowden’s co-workers jokingly refers to the NSA as the “No Such Agency.” This is because it was so top secret for so many years that it’s very existence was denied.  

One of the scariest facts that Snowden points out in this movie is that the NSA has developed the capability to take control of a nation’s communication systems & insert “sleeper programs” in a nation’s infrastructure i.e. power grids, dams, hospitals, etc. which can completely shut them down. And they have implemented these programs not only in nations hostile to the U.S. like Russia, China, Iran but they’ve also done it to our allies in case there should come a point in the future when they’re no longer our allies.    

The NSA has been tapping into nine of the largest Internet servers; Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, Facebook, Google, AOL, You Tube, & Apple. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether this hacking into these corporations was done in cooperation with the owners of them or under duress or pressure by the C.I.A. and the F.B.I.? I believe these corporations most likely complied willingly because of the amounts of money they make and their fear that the intelligence agencies could shut them down by order of the U.S. government if they didn’t cooperate? I recently heard an interview on Ian Master’s excellent radio program which I’ve been listening to for over 30 years called “Background Briefing,” and sorry, I can’t remember the person Ian was interviewing but in a nutshell he pointed out that, liberals & progressives are so concerned about the upcoming merger of AT&T with Time-Warner when in fact, Google & Facebook have over a billion subscribers while AT&T has a little over 11 million subscribers. Which gives you an idea of the difference in terms of wealth & influence.  

In conclusion, Snowden almost gets busted by his immediate supervisor in Hawaii when he’s showing three of his co-workers whom he trusts, a map he’s created showing the numbers of e-mail intercepts the NSA is doing in various countries around the world. The mind-blowing point about this map is that the NSA is intercepting i.e. spying, on over 3 billion e-mails within the U.S. and only half that number in Russia. In other words, our top, intelligence gathering agency is spying far more on us than any other nation on earth. Snowden states that his greatest fear is that things will change little to none and the NSA & other intelligence agencies will continue to grow in power to the point that it’ll be too late to stop them and we will become a “Turn-Key Tyranny.”

—Rob DeLoss, January 9, 2017, Florence, Oregon

P.S.  I was so alarmed by the capacity of our NSA to shut down a country’s communication systems as well as their power grid & infrastructure that I wrote to Noam Chomsky to ask his thoughts on the subject. And here is the question I posed to him & his response:

Hi Noam,

                 I just watched the new film “Snowden” by Oliver Stone and it was truly mind-boggling. Just wondering if you were aware of something brought out in the film and/or what your thoughts on it are? According to Snowden, the NSA can shut down a country’s entire communication system & they insert “sleeper programs” into a nation’s infrastructure i.e. power grid, dams, hospitals, etc. And they’re doing this not only to nations which are official enemies of the U.S. but to our allies like Japan should they no longer be our allies. I knew they were powerful but I had no idea that they had this kind of power. I hope all is well with you & your family.

              Sincerely,  

me, Rob DeLoss, in Trinidad, CA

                              Rob DeLoss   

Chomsky: “Haven’t seen the film, but Snowden appears to be trustworthy, and from what (not very much) I know about these matters, doesn’t seem implausible.”

 

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