Edward Snowden's disappearance is free pass for administration

The disappearance of Edward Snowden gave the administration a good measure of relief. Photo: AP

CHICAGO, June 24, 2013 — Suffer the poor journalists. Journalists were in for a double dose of suffering after their Aeroflot flight took off from Moscow. They were hoping with teenage hormones juicing through their systems that they would get to interview Edward Snowden, the famous celebrity NSA leaker. Only an interview with a Kardashian would cause more puerile titillation.

Not only wasn’t Edward Snowden on the flight, but fights between Russia and Cuba are dry. The journalists would not be able to drown their sorrows and reenact their drunken college days. Brave, fearless, courageous journalists must endure the harsh suffering of sobriety for twelve hours. We can be sure that the journalists will report this as a human rights violation.

SEE RELATED: Where, oh where is Edward Snowden?

None of the so-called journalists, so-called news media, and so-called editorial writers are asking the important questions.

Why did Eric Holder take so long to file charges against Snowden?

Why did he belatedly send a legally defective request to hold Snowden in Hong Kong?

Why is the United States government letting Edward Snowden slip through their fingers after making harsh criminal accusations against him?

SEE RELATED: Edward Snowden reportedly in Moscow

Why does the Department of Justice, once again look incompetent?

Here is a good one. How is Wikileaks so powerful it can get two diplomats from other countries to assist them with Snowden’s flight from justice? How is a rogue website more powerful than the United States government?

Inquiring minds want to know. Journalists do not. It would violate their ethical code, part of which does not allow any serious criticism or questioning of this administration.

Once again, the administration gets a free pass from their ever compliant partner, the news media. Once again, hard questions are not being asked. Once again, the news media are living in obedient blissful somnolent ignorance.

SEE RELATED: In Snowden case there’s plenty of justice to go around

Snowden should have been charged the same day his revelations came out. A proper legal document should have immediately been delivered to Hong Kong authorities demanding his detention. His passport should have immediately been revoked, suspended, or whatever the State Department claims they did, way too late. There is no excuse or valid reason for all the foot dragging by Eric Holder’s Justice Department. One again, Eric Holder proved his mettle as the Stonewaller in Chief.

They dragged their feet in hope. Remember, President Obama is the hope president. They all hoped Edward Snowden would disappear. And so he has, for the time being.

Bringing Edward Snowden to justice would open up a Pandora’s Box that everyone is trying to keep the lid on. How did Snowden get access to such highly classified information? How did Snowden crack into the NSA, the most sophisticated technological agency in the world? How did he break their codes and get the information? Why was Snowden even allowed access to highly classified and compartmentalized information? Who was supposed to be vetting and monitoring him? Who was monitoring Booz-Hamilton-Allen, for that matter?

There are a lot of questions no one is asking because no one wants them answered. So, hasta la bye-bye Snowden. Have a nice life where ever you land, compliments of a grateful government.

Edward Snowden did more damage to the government than just leaking information. He exposed severe flaws in the security apparatus. The apparatus that is supposed to prevent people like Edward Snowden from entering it in the first place. There should be a great deal of finger pointing, and not just at the NSA. It appears the whole security system of classified information can be easily breached.

If Bradley Manning, a soldier who was known to be deeply disaffected and a disciplinary problem could access and breach systems, how hard could it be? Here is another example of a major hole in the security apparatus. His clearances should have been stripped long before he ever set foot in a combat zone. His prior behavior was not exemplary.

How many Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens are there with security classifications and technological skills lurking around highly sensitive areas of our government?

These are questions that need answering now. But, no one is seriously asking them, at least not in public. Somewhere along the line serious flaws in vetting and monitoring people with security classifications were allowed to creep into the system.

Intelligence agencies have two basic functions. Gathering intelligence and, protecting secrets and preventing any type of penetration. Protecting secrets and preventing penetration is called counter intelligence. These flaws have to be eliminated as soon as possible. Somehow counter intelligence broke down.

President John F. Kennedy once famously asked, who spies on the spies? We should now be asking who polices the intelligence agencies and their contractors. Who is protecting the secrets? Who is vetting and monitoring people with security classifications? Who, if anyone, is protecting the moat around the castle?

There will always be leaks. That is inevitable as long as we must recruit people from the human race, with all its foibles and imperfections. But systems need to be put in place to prevent people like Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and others from penetrating systems to access and disseminate classified information.

Security classifications are a trusted privilege, not a right. No one’s technical skills or shortages of personnel should override protecting the nation’s secrets.

You could call Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning criminals, traitors, heroes, or a combination of all three. That is irrelevant. They are now as irrelevant as their motives. What is relevant is to find out how people like them were allowed access to penetrate classified systems with impunity. Then put measures in place to prevent future access and breaches.

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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