The National Security Agency has been under the gun lately for their excessive snooping. Right wings and left wing pendants are at odds as to whether this is an appropriate action. Hidden beneath the necessity and fear of the Patriot Act, the NSA claims it has a strong basis for doing their best rendition of ‘Big Brother’.
No matter your political viewpoint, 9/11 changed how we live our lives. Consider the strongest super power on the planet coming under target and experiencing the worst act of terrorism. There was a well defined plan executed against us and it seemed there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. Those few hours changed the way we view race relations with Muslims, how we secure our homeland and most important, the lengths we will go to prevent this from ever happening again.
The New York Stock Exchange, several metro city area subways and major sporting events are just a few of the nearly 50 terrorist plot attempts that have been debunked before they were ever attempted, according to NSA director Keith Alexander. So the question at hand will be, does the end justify the means? Many Americans are torn, on the fence even because of this. On one hand, there is an assumption that our liberties include the right to have our privacy respected. But then again, we live in a constant state of vulnerability and need the security from those who mean to do us harm.
A few weeks ago, Boston was dealt a severe blow and is currently rebuilding their lives back to normal. The instant it happened, many media correspondents speculated the involvement of terrorism. The reality is, whenever these tragedies happen, it instantly takes us back to September the 11th, 2001. Which is proof that even time cannot heal some terrible acts.
Lately it has been difficult to turn on the news and not hear anything about Edward Snowden, the infamous ‘leaker’. As he released information that he certainly should have never had access to, it exposes yet another weak link in our national security. Now the FBI, CIA and NSA are all under deeper scrutiny not for their results, but their methods.
Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed that widespread collection of telephone records had been going on for years. As for PRISM, on June 8th America’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, issued a rare public statement acknowledging its existence, but stressing that it is lawful and operates under a secret court that oversees intelligence-gathering. The leaker revealed himself the next day: Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old who had worked as a security contractor at the NSA for the past four years, employed by several private contractors.
A congressional panel was assembled to investigate the issues surrounding these links. A strong defense for surveillance was given and again, we are standing before a cross roads. Is spying ok, or should we step back? National security brass remains steadfast that the programs are tightly run and monitored. But by nature of the conversation, it is proof that it wasn’t. Snowden was not our first leak and will not be our last. What is stuck in the middle is how we as a country will go about protecting ourselves and way of life. Whether spying is immoral or not, is a question I do not feel our fair land is quite ready to respond to.
By: Cherese Jackson
Latest Polls Say Majority AGAINST NSA Surveillance