Correctness in politics certainly needs demonstration of Transparency as a dogmatic position. The question is where does transparency start and end when it comes to espionnage and surveillance programs set for security matters ? Is it even possible to claim transparency here without eviscerating the whole program that will go on empty and inefficient ? To which extent transparency and espionnage mission can cope ? Sometimes good intentions may lead straight to bad and weak politicies and decisions.
I suggest and we can collectively agree upon this : The limit of transparency is espionnage.
« President Barack Obama said at a news conference that he’s taking steps to improve public confidence in national security surveillance.
These include working with Congress to pursue appropriate improvements of the telephone surveillance program; reforming the secret court that approves that initiative; improving transparency to provide as much information as possible to the public; and appointing a high-level, independent group of outside experts to review surveillance technologies.
Obama also said his decision to not meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month was not solely related to Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden. He said the United States must « take a pause » in dealing with Russia.
Obama said Snowden can return to the United States and « make his case » in court if he « believes what he did is right. » (CNN)
« In a time of war, to somehow be setting up a task force to tell him what he should be doing… Can you imagine Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman or Winston Churchill doing this? » King asked. « We’re at war. Every program we have is susceptible to some reform. But to be silent about it and suddenly jump because Edward Snowden revealed secrets and put our country at risk… »
RISKY POLITICS OF TERGIVERSATIONS AND VERSATILITY
While the SURVEILLANCE program will be open like a book, how will the nation fight terrorism and engage into counterterrorism ? Of course, transparency is required when political irresponsability is threatening the people’s privacy. Now – and the issue was previously raised up by an NSA official – some days ago : when a terrorist attack strikes you, will you still be talking about your privacy ? Which one ? Privacy or Public Security, which one comes first and utmost ? May be some sort of systematic surveillance is inappropriate. However, it is impossible to ignore the misuses of new technologies and in doing so to crossover the users’ privacy. The NSA can have a reflection on that without having an external group of experts to do so.
I sharply recommend the interview of Rep. Peter King over the matter for the strenghts of his accurate objections. Read Newsmax’s reporting Rep. Peter King objections and go to CNN afterwards for more on the topic.
« REBALANCING PRIVACY AND SECURITIES » – PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID. A TOUGH LINE
Transparency and efficient espionnage are antagonists. If Snowden’s agitation from Moscow is cause to reform the NSA in a hurry, then we are mistaken ourselves and stepping back from the previous response which was strong, firm and responsible. Some may object: « sometimes, strenght may also prove inappropriate ». Probably, but not for this Snowden case. Not this time when the laws and the accuracy of a program are at stake. Yes, some people are outrageous listening they are snooped on… until the next disaster, the like of Boston.
By the way, what was good before Snowden’s exile and turncoat should still be after Snowden, for Snowden is not revealing something new. Apparently, what is shocking is the scale of the snooping and its systematisation. This amounts to the high speed technologies have developed those latests years along with the amount of public using the explosion of devices available for sale. Everything goes in proportion : no more, no less. In fact, there is no exaggeration. Cool headed is needed here. Snowden has chosen to stay in Russia. This is his choice and liberty. America is not going to bow down to his knees to present him with a supplication « to come back home and defend yourself if you think you are right ».
Snowden is wrong. He is a defector that has turned his coat. He has brought nothing new in the sky except for the naive people or the hypocrits or the experts in manipulating information. Look how the entire World is not even shivering about this or commenting that defection. The fact is Snowden’s escape and desertion has lost momentum and interest. If Putin is happy to keep him as a resurgence of the cold war’s trophy, good for him and let them danse the Polka. After all, life continues. It does not stop with Snowden at Moscow leaking US surveillance programme till the end of the journey.
From Russia with Love.
Picture. President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 9, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)