So tomorrow I start my new job, fingers crossed I’ll never have to work a weekend again (apart from if I manage to get back into the Army Reserves; but I want to do that, its not really work). I decided that I would treat myself, and be a teenager again, stay up late and catch up on TV. Working in retail, late nights are a not really an option. 4am wake ups are common place, especially when the masses need their coffee. However now I have a new job, I thought I’d treat myself to Match of the Day, and to finally watch “Citizenfour”.
Wow, what an eye opener. Last night my entire opinion of Edward Snowden was changed by Laura Poitras, massively hard hitting documentary. As I put it on, I was generally disinterested, expecting it to be another “Talk to the viewer” documentary, where its just facts and figures thrown at you by someone who has no great understanding of how things work. This was an outstanding documentary, one where you followed the path that Laura walked along, from prior to her actually receiving the original e-mail from Citizenfour, through to him ending up on Moscow. I watched how the NSA attempted to tell four judges it was okay for them to ignore constitution and law. As the documentary progressed, I was, honestly, on the edge of my seat, hooked. I watched Edwards journey from US citizen, to lost soul in an airport and I felt his pain.
Now, for those of you that no me, I am not usually an emotional soul, but this film really hit home. I was shocked that the NSA, and GCHQ, are using such tactics, and actively. Now I’m not am American, sometimes I wish I was, but watching this I am damn glad I live on this side of the pond. Well, I was until I learned of “Tempora”, and how the evidence released in the documentary point to that we’re tapped often, frequently and this meta-data is collected. As was stated, how can people educate themselves, when they live in fear of being spotted looking at something they shouldn’t. It pushes them underground, it criminalises them in the eyes of said governments. Don’t get me started on that stupid “1918 Espionage Act”, what hell is wrong with American law?
“Hey, we are charging you with breaking the 1918 Espionage Act.”, “Well alls I did was tell the truth.”, “Yeah, by the way, any defence, is no defence. So your guity, that is the only outcome.”
What. The. ?!?! On how many levels of wrong is that? You’ll happily debate about random unimportant issues, like computer game certificates, yet sensible changes on the law, nope. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for you Independents across the ocean. We’ve been together since, well, hundred & odd years ago, and I can’t see that relationship souring. However considering you are all meant to be the shining example of civil liberty, I cannot see that after watching “Citizenfour”. You are the opposite. If the NSA aren’t reigned in, if they aren’t stopped and the people who allowed it happen brought to justice, you are one step from creating Big Brother. How long until peoples doors are being kicked in because they searched the word “Jihad”, under the patriot act and arrested indefinitely. The fact you have charged a US citizen with something he is automatically guilty of, because he told THE TRUTH. He showed your nation, he showed the world, they you have lied to everyone who trusted in you, and what do you do? You commit the one single act that screams against every single, civil liberty that you threw the shackles of colonialism off for; Freedom. You have ruined a man’s life, because he told the truth, because you didn’t like it.
Well, Obama may be President, but he could have pardoned Snowden, as he revealed the issue within the NSA. Instead he has allowed this charade to continue, and has even supported the legal side of the affair against Snowden. Any person with an ounce of intelligence knows he’ll be put in jail, or worse, put in jail and disappear. America has egg on its face, they know it, the world knows it, why can’t the US just do the one thing it never has; Put its hands up and say “Yeah, we messed up.”.
I hope that Snowden eventually gets to where he wants to get too, somewhere he can call home, that isn’t another oppressive, insecure state. If you haven’t already watched “Citizenfour”, watch it. Don’t hesitate, don’t wait, just go and sit down now and let your mind do the rest. This isn’t some Zeitgeist BS that I’m asking you to watch, its a documentary. Something that happened, see how it impacts you, them, Snowden, Poitras, Greenwald and the US.
Time for some gaming me thinks.