Thursday, August 29, 2013

On disturbing the "conventions of what is"

The Christian Science Monitor reports that a person who I take to be a Russian security intellectual (and spook?) drew an interesting conclusion about a trio of controversial figures whose actions have made them heroes to those of us who still hope to rein in the universal surveillance state.
Alexander Konovalov, president of the independent Institute for Strategic Assessments in Moscow, says the Snowden saga shows that all the nations involved, including Russia, were reacting to moves made by a very smart fugitive who represents a cause that is new – and probably unwelcome – to all big governments. ...

"After all, Snowden spilled his secrets to the Guardian, not to us [the Russians]. He wasn't looking to work with our special services at all, but to inform the world public about a threat he perceives...

 "Snowden, [Chelsea] Manning, [Julian] Assange are all a new type of people that nobody appears ready to deal with. In the past, people defected for ideological or more venal reasons, but these people are children of the new information society and believers in total freedom. Snowden probably frightens Putin as much as he scared the US establishment. Hence all the official confusion. But these people have followers in Russia, and around the world, and we probably need to expect more of this in future," he adds.
It seems ironic that today President Obama, in a speech at the Lincoln Memorial commemorating the great 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom, gave a shout out to young disturbers of the established order.
"There’s a reason why so many who marched that day and in the days to come were young, for the young are unconstrained by habits of fear, unconstrained by the conventions of what is. They dared to dream different and to imagine something better. And I am convinced that same imagination, the same hunger of purpose serves in this generation."
Really Mr. President? Your prosecutions and your charges against people who try to recall the powers-that-are to their professed principles tell a contrary story.

Let's hope such brave and foolish shit-disturbers continue to rile the governments of the world.

Photo from a London demo by way of ChelseaLibera.

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