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article imageOp-Ed: Snowden Affair — How the White House managed to cover its face

By Ernest Dempsey     Jul 26, 2013 in Politics
Washington - With Edward Snowden being cornered by the US government across borders, the White House is directly revealing its desperation to hide the embarrassment it caused to the American nation, both nationally and internationally.
Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA were a major quake shaking the foundation of the Obama Administration for violating the civil rights of the citizens. The fact that the US government was spying on its citizens, violating their right to privacy as defined by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, and even the cyber giant Microsoft was partnering with Intelligence to access citizens’ communication was opened to the world. And this was the case not only for American citizens but also for foreign embassies (which are considered foreign territories outside the direct administration of the US jurisdiction). The leak came from a first-hand source – Snowden – who himself work as an NSA contractor. It was impossible to deny this disaster. What was the US government to do now?
It would resort to old, tried techniques of psychological weapons to win the war. The biggest and most powerful weapon in this scheme is language. Using the word “traitor” to assassinate Snowden’s character was vital to the US administration’s face-saving priority. That it did immediately and on a wide scale, in combination with the word “spy”, only bolsters this point.
But the latter alone was not effective because it is more descriptive of an act and the NSA or the US government itself was the prime accused in this context. To effectively throw the masses quickly into a psychically numb state, “traitor” was the word used by the administration – a word with emotive meaning of someone who is guilty of treason, a definition which if pursued logically will point fingers more toward the authorities than the individual wanted by them.
In a recent interview on Australia’s ABC radio, Professor James Morone at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, pointed to the “American puritan tradition” that works by focusing on “sinners” instead of “sins”. And those who, like the medieval clerical authorities, speak of punishing the sinners spontaneously get exempted from this label. In making Snowden a sinner, a traitor, the White House had to find the drum over which the face-saving song of “traitor Snowden” could be beaten loud enough to suppress any voices of protest against the sin the authorities had been caught doing. This drum was to be none else than the modern puritanical channel of mass-deception, aka mainstream media. Over the years, the so-called professional media sources have repeatedly been exposed for serving corporate and institutional setups. Being an institution itself, mainstream media prostitutes its role out to save institutions while destroying individuals and their voices in situations when it comes to choose between institution and individual – again focusing on sinner rather than the sin; for doing the latter will lead to the eradication of the evil that is the stronghold of the rulers.
By constantly talking about Snowden and what’s going to happen to him, the media enabled the White House to cleverly cover its political sin – the violation of civil and human rights. Whether we can trust the mainstream media, especially the American media in Snowden’s case, remains a big question after its open service to protecting institutional interests. And the power of its service can’t be denied. Still the contradictions within media speak for the inadequacies howling in this channel of political power over people. That is how we see the Business Insider claiming that majority (53%) of Americans now consider Snowden a criminal while another report in Providence Journal says he is a hero to majority of Americans. No media outlet, however, is hammering people’s minds with the question whether US Intelligence or the White House is traitor for the same reason – spying – as applied to Snowden.
The White House also failed miserably on another ground in Snowden’s case. If Snowden is a traitor, a security risk, how come a single young guy like him got away with secrets of the White House (and they don’t tell what secrets except that they were spying on civilians) and made it to “enemy” countries? Those beating the drum of “enemy countries” are too afraid to ask if we have enemy countries; how come we have close agreements and trade ties with those states – mainly China and Russia in this case. In terms of security, however, whose responsibility was it to guard state secrets? And those who failed to guard it are to be considered incompetent. But why has no person in the government resigned yet over this terrifying failure? In the good old days, we had a tradition of responsible people resigning over a big slip. Sadly, those days are gone and the ideals of freedom and individuality are being drained down the political gutter as the authorities in American today save their face with the complicity of media and other institutions. Perhaps we don’t have any “responsible” people anymore.
America’s latest tactic to save face is to bully other nations with sanctions, implying further large-scale violations of human rights for economic sanctions can lead to poverty and crime in nations. In short, the White House wants the world to suffer because its administration is too dumb to do its job, guard against security threats, and protect sensitive documents from leaking out to the world. But still, it is clever enough to save its face, for which one can’t but acknowledge the role of media, the ultimate weapon of mass mis-communication.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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