No one knows how much more the whistleblower Edward Snowden has up in his sleeve, or rather on his digital files.
But he is certainly not ready to leak documents about the U.S. intelligence service systematic monitoring and eavesdropping without warrants of both friends and enemies.
The English The Guardian was the first to bring Snowden’s revelations. Then The Spiegel, which could reveal that the secret service NSA monitors and intercepts EU offices in Washington and Brussels including telephone calls in and out of the building in Brussels, where all EU heads of state and governments meet regularly to the summits, and virtually all telephone and emails in and out of Germany.
Then it emerged that various embassies intercepted. The pattern of Snowden’s leaks thus remains open to the media, which in turn brings more and more disturbing information about the American watch over the shoulders.
One wonders uneasily what future the Snowden documents will bring at the light of public interest.
The U.S. is continuing demands of the culprit handed over to the prosecution; the problem is that this is no longer an affair between an American citizen and the United States.
Snowden has put fire to the world opinion – a discussion that should not be about Snowden being a man who is an American traitor, betraying his country in danger or not.
The situation today, is so serious, that it is essential for citizens, politicians and the media to overcome the temptation and reduce it all to a question about Snowden’s person.
After The Spiegel disclosed that the democratic institutions and computer networks in Europe are being watched by the American NSA in the European top politician’s telephones and emails, it’s a completely different ballgame than the one about the fight against terrorism.
The revelations paint a picture of NSA, which not only scans billions of data for suspicious content, but implementing direct actions against individuals without necessarily being suspicious individuals, but politicians and diplomatic staff from Europe.
The United States has tried to calm down the importance of Snowden’s revelations, but without a bigger success. Maybe with the exception of Denmark’s prime minister and foreign ministers, who have both appeared as vibrating lamb tails even though there is a broad European requirement to get a clear message from the U.S.?
The U.S. has promised to explain, but mind you, in the diplomatic system of closed circles, and it will certainly not dismantle the uncertainty and worry that have occurred in all the ordinary users of portals like facebook and many other media channels.
No matter how much, the U.S. will of course reassure its partners through diplomatic channels, which has been of great interest around the world to uncover, not just what it is that the NSA has been following, but also whether there actually existed a democratic control of the NSA, the 50,000-strong espionage company,
We stand with the classic question that the plot of American films again and again has been turned around: Who monitors those who monitor? How to ensure democratic control of intelligence services? Specifically: Who decides about the culture of NSA is sick – or downright criminal?
Edwards Snowden actions have been compared with other whistleblower’s actions, and there is a reason to keep his revelations against them e.g. with people like Daniel Ellsberg, Coleen Rowley, Joe Darby, Bradley Manning and Martin Field behind the secret walls.
Ellsberg leaked 7.000 secret documents in 1971 from the Pentagon, which showed that three U.S. presidents knew that the Vietnam War could not be won.
Rowley, who worked for the FBI, accused the agency of having obstructed the investigation of potential terrorists before the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.
Joe Darby was the whistleblower behind the unveiling of U.S. soldiers’ atrocities against prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004.
There is Bradley Manning, the soldier who was behind the largest leak of classified documents in the U.S. history to WikiLeaks in 2010. He can now count on decades behind bars after having leaked the evidence of the assault, the U.S. Army has committed in Iraq.
Finally, the FBI man Mark Felt, the famous ‘Deep Throat’ who anonymously leaked the information to Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward that led to the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s departure.
Take the Watergate affair, as in any textbook given as an example of the open American society’s ability and willingness to correct itself regardless of the price.
Also Edward Snowden’s ‘civil disobedience’ will find its place in the history. Already now pointing the matter directly for the major civil rights issue: How can the individual citizen’s right to an unattended privacy be ensured? It will be a huge challenge to balance the States’ national interest to know all possibilities with civil rights.
Snowden’s revelations show that the balance is not just the NSA, but in the U.S. as such is the mountain tipped so much that espionage also includes European politicians and the communication is apparently justified by the U.S. national interest.
The war on terror cannot go on forever. President Obama said recently, that it is time to adjust the scope of the preventive efforts against terrorism.
Perhaps, a thorough examination of the NSA and the U.S. interests would be a good start without the assistance of Mr. Snowden……!