Wow. What a rodeo it's been. For weeks and weeks. Dueling diaries, HR extravaganzas, accusations of roving gangs, and predictions this site is going to hell in a hand basket.
I can honestly say that on this topic, I've read much more than I've commented. Far more. And still, as much as I try to straighten it out in my mind, I remain HIGHLY skeptical of arguments on both sides. And by skeptical I mean neither side has convinced me, which is not to say both sides haven't made points that make me think.
I know I'm not the only one here who feels this way, but I'm not sure I've read the diary that says so. So for all of you here who can't go black or white on this issue, I hope you'll let me know I have company.
Those that claim Greenwald and Snowden are liars and the equivalent of carnival barkers and cowards are choosing to believe that the freaking huge NSA complex, that has grown and multiplied w/the aide of the Patriot act---which I think is a total travesty, (and which I HATE the name of just to being with, my God, sounds like a bad country western song to me, you know like that one about "I'm proud to be an American, chest pound etc,) is nothing to worry about. I think it's A LOT to worry about.
OTOH, those that take Greenwald and Snowden at face value, and assume righteousness on their parts, without distancing themselves enough to question, without the patience and objectivity it takes to evaluate the motherlode of events, flying commentary, conflicting testimony and sheer complexity of the issues at hand, don't win me over either.
I find this VERY complicated. And I am amazed at the many here who see this as either black or white.
Here's what I do know and here's what I ask.
---Whatever side you're on, this is an excellent discussion to have, and none too soon.
---People who are more than suspicious of the NSA, have a legitimate story to tell.
---People who are more than suspicious of the motivations of Greenwald and Snowden, or at least the judgement of either, also have a legitimate story to tell.
---The choices we make about all this, as progressives and democrats, can bring us together, or bust us apart. See the current disarray in the GOP. Yummy. But it can happen to us too.
---In this age of technological prowess, which anyone world wide can use, where do we see see ourselves fitting in?
---In a world that gives up its privacy willingly in so many ways, where do we draw the line? Why is it OK for corporations to track our on line activity, through meta data, as they do every day in the interest of commerce, but wrong for our government to do it in the interest of security? Can't remember a single diary on this comparison.
---How do we protect ourselves against enemies who don't worry about civil liberties?
---What are any of us willing to bet, in the end on either side, that we are right? We must ask ourselves this because we ask those we elect to make that bet every day.
---And what are we willing to gamble that we're right, either way? Splitting the party? Making this site nothing but an unending pie fight? Giving up our power to act because we can't agree?
These are the things that keep me up at night. These are questions NO one can answer with impunity. Which is why I asked them. To simply point out that humility and patience would serve us all well. We DON'T KNOW, much more than we do know.
All this is not to say we shouldn't raise our voices and our concerns. I am all over that.
But on this issue, we have made war with each other, a blog in constant argument, much of it mind numbingly familiar and repetitive, with no sign of consensus or forward movement, or action.
Maybe this is the way it just has to work. I'm open to that, although I'm uncomfortable with it. Who isn't? I guess in the end, I just had to write this out tonight, that I'm confounded by the assurance of either side on this issue. Because I am still waiting for the blessed feeling of truth, and I'm not finding it yet.
Someone has added "False equivalence" to my tags. Is this legal here? Can we all go about adding any tag we want to someone's diary? Can we impose our opinions on a person's tags?
It's been quite a day for me here. Quite an experience. I have been sick with a viral infection and was confined to the sofa today, with the choice to do this, or watch TV, or read. I chose this. No regrets.
I don't think I'll do this again soon, all day long, if ever, but for a gal who likes conversation, this has been a good experience. Even though I have certainly had to take my share of blows and insults here. But then, as I have made clear many times in the comments, I expected that when I wrote on this topic. I do not feel discouraged by the experience.
There have been many thoughtful comments here which have made me think. I like that. There have been many attempts to communicate through insult. I don't like that, but accept it is the price of voice here. Although I will note it when it happens. I understand that some think civility is not an issue, but I think it is. Something else we
have to simply agree to disagree on sometimes.
In the end, I will go back to the beginning. I have very deep concerns about the NSA, which I stated quite clearly in my diary, and which were ignored by many. I also have concerns about minds that close like a steel trap, that interpret any question as a threat. Which I also made quite clear in my diary and in many a comment here. I still wonder at how threatening this is to many, but I accept it simply is.
I am grateful to have this platform to discuss. Many people don't like to discuss politics, as you all know, and here, it is the norm and expected. I like many others here, have ideas and questions and arguments that swirl through my head all the time, and it is good to have somewhere that at least that, is accepted.