Without a doubt, Edward Snowden’s a fascinating guy.
A computer geek who dug deep — both into this holy land’s less palatable practices and his own conscience — to reveal the indisputable fact we aren’t the sweethearts of the world, a self-bestowed nicety we’d fooled ourselves with since 9/11.
Snowden pulled the tarp off our dunghill of mass surveillance and government secrecy, a couple of nasty habits our citizenry was certain were the sole provinces of bad actors like East Germany or North Korea.
Argue all you want about whether or not fed spooks ought to be lurking around corners in order to protect us from another WTC-like attack. It’s entirely possible that when newly-elected presidents at last get their honest-to-gosh intelligence briefings, they must retire to their dressing rooms so as to change their underthings. Neither you nor I know who on this planet’s got a lump of plutonium sitting around the workshop or is hoarding a few industrial drums of sarin gas.
The truth may be that CIA and NSA spies just might be protecting us from the terror of all terrors. The world is filled with religious fundamentalists who dream of the afterlife and less psychotic chaps who nonetheless carry a grudge for all the sub rosa slaughter we’ve carried out since World War II — hell, since long before that even.
No matter my country’s sins, I prefer not to pay a personal penance for the excesses of the Dulles brothers, Henry Kissinger, and Dick Cheney.
But if we are peeking under everybody’s bed, I’d rather we be upfront about it and can the sanctimony. World affairs is a stinking business and we don’t do ourselves any favors by pretending we’re little lambs in a dark forest of wolves.
Edward Snowden was a hero, despite being among the oddest of geekballs. Of course, he may have found the courage to do what he did because he’s operating on a plane 3.5 degrees off from the rest of us. His decision to find refuge in Vladimir Putin’s Russia — a snakepit of plutocrats, mobsters, serial-murder capitalists, and brutal domestic and foreign secret agents — was downright bizarre.
In any case, his story has got to be a grabber.
Sadly, the storyteller turns out to be Oliver Stone, whose familiarity with facts and basic truisms equals that between me and the Maori of Cook Island. Stone’s previous forays into historical biopics has produced a grim fairy tale package of celluloid detritus that I avoid like Zika-born mosquitoes.
Yeah, Stone was tumescent to create the film biography of Snowden and at this date the project is almost in the can. Too damned bad.
I’d have preferred a real storyteller to relate the tale.
Sus Scrofa *
Ironic, isn’t it? D. Trump a week ago told this holy land’s brown- and black-skinned folk the following:
Our government has totally failed our African American friends, our Hispanic friends and the people of our country. Period. The Democrats have failed completely in the inner cities. For those hurting the most who have been failed and failed by their politician — year after year, failure after failure, worse numbers after worse numbers. Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing, no homes, no ownership. Crime at levels that nobody has seen. You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities that are run by the Democrats. And I ask you this, I ask you this — crime, all of the problems — to the African Americans, who I employ so many, so many people, to the Hispanics, tremendous people: What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out. I’ll straighten it out. What do you have to lose?
Well, okay, he didn’t exactly say that to B- & B-skinned people. He retched the above verbiage to a crowd of lily-white idolators who cheered him as if he’d said something magnificent on the order of “We have nothing to fear but….”
One Of D. Trump’s African-American Friends [L]
Whatever. Trump said life for those whose dermis registers on the right hand side of the light spectrum is for shit.
Cut to this week. Football near-star Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand during the National Anthem before his team’s games because it’d be hypocritical. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
In other words, he agreed with D. Trump.
D. Trump’s reaction? Read:
I think it’s a terrible thing [Kaperneich sitting during the Anthem], and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try. It won’t happen.
In other words, D. Trump just played both sides against the middle — if by middle you mean the swath of the American populace that takes pride in knowing nothing and harbors carcinogenic hatred in its heart.
So is D. Trump a friend to our darker-skinned brethren and sisteren? Or is he a staunch defender of Old Glory, the Pledge of Allegiance, and Francis Scott Key’s un-sing-able boozing ditty and to hell with your suffering under Jim Crow, new and old?
It doesn’t matter. * My headline above explicates the Linnaean classification of the wild boar. Suffice it to say D. Trump is simply a wild bore.
My understanding is that Snowden didn’t intend to go to Russia, but was caught in transit when the US convinced Equador to back out of their offer of asylum. Not clear that Snowden had much choice but to stay, so perhaps not an odd choice.
The U.S. revoked his passport mid-flight, so he couldn’t go any further.