Dear attendees and fellow anti-NSA sympathizers,
I imagine you’re feeling pretty pleased with yourselves right now. In my experience, people who attend such political protests usually do. Heck, I’ve been to a few political protests in my day and I usually left feeling rather pleased – no shame in that.
What I do not understand is this: what did you think the NSA has been doing over the years? Did you think they were paid to sit in their government offices and look cool? Or did you think they were super secret agents à la James Bond, wearing tuxedos while chasing bad guys, who they captured, delivered to headquarters, and returned home in time for dinner? I may have zero experience working in the intelligence community, but even I realize real life isn’t like that. The NSA is a spy agency, and thus it employs vast amounts of people to, you know, spy.
In case you have forgotten – and it seems to me that many people have forgotten – we experienced a very nasty terrorist attack over a decade ago, on September 11, 2001. Remember that? Remember when those terrorists hijacked four airplanes and managed to fly three of them into buildings? The whole country was collectively terrified, with good reason.
I remind you of September 11 to underscore that the world is a very dangerous place. We are fortunate as Americans to live in a safe, developed country. And who do you think keeps you safe at night? Who spends every night and day pouring over data to make sure that another September 11 does not happen again? I’ll tell you: one of them is that spy agency you seem to revile so much, the NSA. The NSA has helped to keep every single one of us safe and how do you repay it? By shrieking about your alleged privacy and supporting the traitor Edward Snowden, who caused all this idiocy in the first place.
Look, as long as the NSA does not publicly reveal the information it has collected about American citizens, I don’t see what the problem is. Are your phone conversations, your text messages, really that important? I have heard many a cell phone conversation in my life and every single one of them was so incredibly inane and stupid that I wondered why the person was wasting his or her time having it. If the NSA stores every single one of my conversations, I really do not care, as long as they do not reveal this to the public. I am certain your conversations are no more exciting than mine.
I am not trying to say that the US government is perfect. In fact, I find there to be many, many things wrong with it. On an almost daily basis, I am reminded that the current government does not share virtually any of my political values. I cannot understand your focus on criticizing the NSA and not problems that are more worth of criticism. (Some examples: our huge national debt, high unemployment rate, etc.)
Of course, you have every right to protest. I just find your indignation misplaced, quite incomprehensible and frankly, very frustrating.
Photos from this post at Slate.