From TPM Reader SG …
Hi, longtime reader here. I want to register my opinion on a couple of things.
1. I am surprised at how much you are willing to be caught up in evaluating Snowden as a messenger. It seems to me the authenticity of the materials he has provided is not seriously in question. We have these “denials” from corporations, but the intelligence community seems not to be denying anything, but rather to be claiming that we in the public don’t really understand and that the release of the info is damaging.
2. If the federal government has access to basically all my electronic activities– the government doesn’t even have to go get it, but receives it and stores it automatically–and whenever I become a problem it can just go search all the stored crap it has on me, then I find that quite disturbing. It may or may not be legal but isn’t the question whether this is a big change in the way a free people live and shouldn’t we do something about it?
3. Please don’t become the hypocrites that the folks in the right-wing media are. These people like Limbaugh with their sudden outrage at the surveillance state have no credibility. But we who have supported Obama must be different. If we were disturbed by the Patriot Act and opposed it, we can be no more forgiving of Obama just because we thought he wouldn’t do the wrong thing.
4. One of the more disturbing things about these revelations is what they reveal about the erosion of the distinction between spying on people outside the U.S. vs. people inside the U.S. Please don’t lose sight of this, it is very important.
A threshold has been crossed while the public slept. Some light is finally being shined on the practices of our security apparatus. Maybe now, as the memory of Bin Laden fades, we are entering the first time since 9/11 when we can have a reasonable public conversation about the privacy interests of our people and what must be sacrificed in order to preserve the rights we cherish. It kills me to see people I respect, opinion leaders like yourself, collectively shrug at the revelations of these last several days.