Dear Politicians: Exposing US Dirty Laundry Isn't Aiding The Enemy
from the words-have-meaning dept
Allow me to be nostalgic for a moment, because I remember a time when words used to actually mean something. I remember when terrorism actually meant terrorism and wasn’t just a trump card of a word used by the government to do whatever the hell they want. I seem to recall a glorious era when hacking was hacking and not just sitting down at the local library computer lab and screwing with someone who forgot to log out of Facebook.
And you know what other phrase I remember having an actual sensible meaning? Aiding the enemy. Unfortunately, that phrase too is apparently going to be co-opted by a group of horribly cynical jackwagons over the coming weeks. We already talked about Rep. Peter King, proud supporter of the IRA, a terrorist organization, and his confusion between where reporting on actions taken against the American people end and national security begins. I’m a bit unclear on how the American people knowing what a secretive arm of the government is doing to its own citizens compromises national security, unless of course Rep. King means that the government is about to have to deal with a severely pissed off electorate. But it’s only going to get worse, now that NSA leak-master Edward Snowden has added that the USA regularly hacks China.
The Morning Post said it had seen documents but was unable to verify allegations of U.S. hacking of networks in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2009. Snowden told the paper that some of the targets included the Chinese University of Hong Kong, public officials and students. The documents also “point to hacking activity by the NSA against mainland targets,” the newspaper reported.
Oh, lordy lord, next you’ll be telling us there ain’t no Santa Claus. The percentage of Americans that already assumed this was going on could probably be roughly estimated as all of them. Still, watch what will happen next. Already we’ve heard claims that Snowden’s leak has endangered American lives, without a single explanation as to what the hell that could possibly mean. He initially leaked a story about domestic spying, unlike that which was leaked by Bradley Manning. Now there is noise about how Snowden is aiding the enemy. But what enemy? We aren’t at war with China.
And besides that, exposing the government for taking part in the kind of thing that we decry everyone else doing isn’t aiding the enemy, it’s just embarrassing the shit out of our domestic agencies. Hell, it was less than a week ago that President Obama met with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, in part to demand that the Chinese cut out their hacking.
In the official’s discussion with Reuters, he or she said that Obama will ask that Xi “abide by international norms and affirm clear rules of the road.” The U.S. president also wants to tell Xi that any cyberattacks originating from China are the government’s responsibility.
Snowden’s leak will likely torpedo any positives that came out of that meeting, but that still isn’t aiding the enemy. That phrase used to mean something. It meant helping get weapons to nations with which we are at war, or to terrorist organizations (you know, like Peter King did in working with an organization that helped finance the IRA). Or providing troop positions, military plans, or money to the enemy. It also meant giving intelligence to the enemy. Who the hell is the enemy here? It can’t be China, since we aren’t at war with them. It can’t be the press since, despite King’s wish, we aren’t at war with them either. That just leaves the target of this massive data slurp. You and I. And if we’re the enemy Snowden is accused of aiding, then we’re all in a great deal of trouble.