Books, Documentaries, Reviews: January 3, 2016
First, SNOWDEN is an Oliver Stone movie, so one has to take that fact into account.
But, this movie is really interesting, especially today with all the information about Russian hacking.
I had no idea that Snowden was so brilliant.
Somehow, I thought he was “just” a contractor when he was far, far, far more than that. Snowden always worked at the highest level of technological intelligence for the CIA, the NSA, etc., attached to companies with projects at that level. He is also the kind of boy-scout patriot who would be and was terribly troubled by the kind of invasive spying on people, on countries, on…everything that could be spied on apparently. He was sickened by what was being done with the information, how people were being blackmailed and so forth. So, he is, I think, a whistleblower about those practices. What he wanted was to reveal the extent of the spying so that Americans could have a debate about being “safe” versus the loss of privacy.
Laws have since been passed that shut down the spying on US citizens.
Senior officials associated with these programs lied to Congress about what they were doing at the time.
There is so much power involved in knowing what this kind of technological spying produces. Can the “powers that be” resist doing what they do so well?
And, as always, we dumb citizens who just want to live happy lives, have to trust that what is being done “in our name” is in “the right hands.” Yet history is replete with stories of what the CIA did across the world “in our name”–and it was always already about facilitating American companies seeking to work in places where riches were to be had. (See THE BROTHERS, Stephen Kinzer) And, take a moment and think about how easily this information could be turned against private citizens if it is being wielded by “the wrong hands.”
It’s also an “everybody is doing it” problem. One that I think is not going to go away.
It’s an interesting movie.