Whose Side is Congress on?

snowden cover

In this Edward Snowden interview James Bamford spends two weeks in Moscow to get the chance to interview Snowden. James Bamford asks Snowden about his life and work for NSA. Snowden talks about how he came to work for the CIA and then eventually the NSA. He talks about the doubts and troubles he had when first being exposed to larger and larger breaches of privacy. He tells Bamford about the first time he copied NSA information to be released later, while he was in Hawai’i in early 2012, and how as he moved up the ranks he became more and more disturbed, gathering more files all the while. Finally when Snowden got wind of MonsterMind, an NSA computer capable of starting cyber attacks autonomously, and the NSA director blatantly lying to the public he broke. That is when, on March 13, 2013, he decided to act.

 

Greenwald and Bamford have very similar views on Ed Snowden. They both agree with what he did, and that the NSA has gone too far. They both support him coming back home and receiving a fair trial, in short they both think Snowden was right and justified in what he did. Where they differ in opinion is much more interesting. While Greenwald denounces Congress, the President, and pretty much any other government body you care to name, Bamford is not so quick to hand out judgments.

Bamford very prominently displays that, “the US House of Representatives moves to put the brakes on the NSA. By a lopsided 293-to-123 tally, members vote to halt the agency’s practice of conducting warrantless searches of a vast database that contains millions of Americans’ emails and phone calls.” Bamford believes that Congress is against the NSA’s surveillance while Greenwald criticizes the way that Congress and the government act at every turn.

Greenwald condemns the whole US government, implying that they have taken away rights given in the Constitution (4th amendment) and the Declaration of Independence (pursuit of happiness, and to revolt). Giving the impression that nothing short of a complete overhaul can fix this problem. Bamford on the other hand believes in all three branches of the government, Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court, to help fix this issue. He believes that the NSA is one lone rouge branch that can and will be contained. While Bamford and Greenwald agree on Snowden, they cannot seem to agree on how we should fix this problem that has been exposed.

4 thoughts on “Whose Side is Congress on?”

  1. I do agree with your assessment of the two author’s perceptions on the current state of the government and the NSA, but I think that adding a few more elements to your argument would make it stronger. First, giving some background to who Greenwald is or why he is someone that we should read and believe. I also think that giving Snowden’s own opinion on what is wrong with the government and how it can be fixed since most of your post is about how the two authors differ at this point. The article itself is structured very well and the use on one word links within the paragraphs is very helpful for the argument.

  2. I do agree with your assessment of the two author’s perceptions on the current state of the government and the NSA, but I think that adding a few more elements to your argument would make it stronger. First, giving some background to who Greenwald is or why he is someone that we should read and believe. I also think that giving Snowden’s own opinion on what is wrong with the government and how it can be fixed since most of your post is about how the two authors differ at this point. The article itself is structured very well and the use on one word links within the paragraphs is very helpful for the argument.

  3. You did a good job with linking and used quotes appropriately throughout the post. However, as I read this I felt that the subject deviated from the article’s perspective of Snowden to the contrasting views of Bamford and Greenwald on the issue of government reliability.

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