American’s have become – or maybe they’ve always been – naïve about the ways of the real world. Despite unprecedented access to instant and archived information from around the world, realizing and understanding what really goes on is foreign and distant.
People will believe what they want to believe, that’s human. Some are more impressionable than others, many are cynical by nature and there are those who search for conspiracies in everything, especially when it’s about those (governments or corporations) that are in command of their everyday lives.
Usually, there are few consequences to this lack of awareness and what costs there are usually are limited to the individual. But not always.
How many know of the South American gangs that kidnap children and harvest their organs for the medical black market? Who among you were aware that Major League Baseball caught umpires betting on games at the same time Pete Rose was investigated and eventually banned from the sport? Did you know there were first responders discovered looting in the rubble of the World Trade Center?
The lionization of American traitor Edward Snowden is another example of public ignorance. Too much of the American public believe Snowden to be a “hero,” mainly because of a lack of appreciation for the complicated and intricate world of technical intelligence and 21st Century communications. More directly, however, is little or no understanding of the trade-craft of international espionage.
For those who wish to believe that Edward Snowden is merely an altruistic, conscience-driven paragon of Fourth Amendment virtue, you should understand that this is precisely what our adversaries want you to think. I have offered my educated opinion that Snowden is a Russian agent who went into his NSA contractor job with the instructed intent to steal as much information as possible.
Remember that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a retired Lt. Colonel in the infamous KGB where he initially served in the Second Chief Directorate (counter-intelligence). He was later assigned to and spent the bulk of his career in The First Chief Directorate. This was the organization responsible for foreign operations and intelligence collection activities by the training and management of the covert agents, intelligence collection management, and the collection of political, scientific and technical intelligence.
But Snowden’s actions are more than just the theft of classified information, they are part of a global public relations smear campaign to neutralize our enemy’s greatest fear – U.S. intelligence superiority.
It has been an easy exercise to “leak” selected documents relating to complicated technical and legal operations and cast them in simple, misleading terms to paint NSA as something it is not, doing something it does not do. Russia has used the malleability of American public opinion to achieve something it, as a state, has not been able to do for the 61 years of NSA’s existence.
Isn’t it interesting that so many Americans are far less trusting of television commercials about meaningless products than they are of a person who admitted to lying and stealing state secrets? And once he stole those secrets – without going through any U.S. channels, defected not to a neutral country, but to Russia!
Vladimir Putin doesn’t care what chips you eat, whether you prefer Apple over Android or think one moisturizer is superior to another. What he does care about, and what he is using to his maximum advantage, is how easily you can be influenced. Based on too many knee-jerk reactions by too many Americans and media outlets, o’ Vlad’s vodka must be tasting particularly good these days.
Where is J.D. Power when you really need it?