Whether or not you think Edward Snowden is a hero or a villain, he is getting the politicians to say a number of interesting things. Take for instance, this blurb from Paul Ryan (R-WI) that was replayed on the CBC news on Monday evening:
If we are not able to convince our allies or other countries to help us with this, that doesn’t speak very well to how we are being viewed in the world, it does speak well to our credibility.
Let me highlight one part of this: …it does not speak well to our credibility. What Mr. Ryan does not understand, or at least does not seem to grasp, is that the credibility of the United States is pretty much a joke in the rest of the world. And the Snowden leaks are only the latest example of why the United States is the butt of the world’s jokes.
There have been several reports, reported by the BBC, and the CBC, but surprisingly not by any US news outlet of how trade with the EU and the United States is in rough shape because of US policies, public or not, on issues like transparency of government, crime and punishment, climate and environmental issues, and of course, privacy. The Snowden revelations are only the latest bit of glass being thrown into the international communities eyes.
This is a global economy. Information is, for the most part, is available with a few key strokes, not just the unclassified, but much of the so called classified information, if you have the time and patience to sort through the minutia to find it. Big data sifting can be done with almost any server today, so if you want to know what is going on, it is not hard to find out.
Yet there are many in the United States that do not want to know what is going on and see all of this as a great blow to the efforts and image of the United States. To these individuals, Mr. Ryan included, I say this. The image of the United States was irreparably damaged when the United States invaded a sovereign nation with little more provocation that they might have had weapons of mass destruction, and, having found nothing, did not so much as say sorry. Further, has left the country in worse shape economically and socially than when they invaded it. And that is only one of many events I can point at.
I cannot help but laugh at the politicians and other pundits that are worried about the credibility of the United States. You should worry more about other, more critical things. This one is a tempest in a tea pot, designed to distract from the fact that these same politicians are the same ones that allowed the NSA to do this in the first place.