Monday, August 5, 2013

Hands off our metadata!

US government think tanks have been working overtime, paying well-schooled, high-paid patriots to come up with schemes to counter the revelations of Edward Snowden about data trawling & invasion of privacy. For all that money & energy you’d think they could come up with something better than the comic opera of closing down 22 US embassies in “the Muslim world” (for a week) & issuing one of their global travel alerts! US citizens are advised to beware of public transportation, including boats, trains, planes, & subways.

It’s difficult to read the media reports when you can’t stop rolling on the floor laughing. In a grave & somber tone they cite the three things that led to this dramatic action. The most damning is an intercepted message between “senior al Qaeda operatives” which--they make sure to mention--was intercepted by the NSA surveillance trawling equipment so objectionable & antithetical to democracy. And for this, they have to read all our emails, listen in on all our phone calls, & snoop over all our shoulders when we’re cruising the internet!? Why don’t they just listen in on al-Qaeda now that they know their email address? Or is al-Qaeda just an invention of these think tanks too?

The second reason for the closures is alleged al-Qaeda-organized prison breaks in Libya, Iraq, & Pakistan where “hundreds of terrorists & other criminals” escaped. This reason must have been published on the notion that the dumber the lie the more believable it becomes. The third reason given for the closures is the Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan. No explanation that makes an iota of sense is offered for why these festivities would compel closure.

In the grand tradition of muckraking & investigative reporting, CNN (the giant media titan) admits it is kowtowing to a Obama regime request not to publish additional details “because of the sensitivity of the information.” That probably means the NSA is still working out the plot line.

But according to CNN, the Yemen regime (which allows US drone aircraft to bomb its own people) is on high alert because the NSA knows from that data trawling system that al-Qaeda in Yemen are “in the final stages of planning for an unspecified attack.” Well if they weren’t so busy trawling our emails they might have caught it in the early stages. And if they know it’s going to happen in Yemen, why the hell close the embassies in 21 other countries!? Why not just high-tail it out of Yemen?

The only thing that could improve the safety of cities with US embassy closures is to close them down permanently & deport all the personnel, especially the CIA operatives attached to them.

Perhaps the only thing that isn’t a belly-laugh in this alert is the US might actually engineer some catastrophe to counter the devastating impact of the Snowden revelations.

(Photo of protestors outside US Capitol last month by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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