Our conscience sets us apart from other species
As the media reports on the ongoing saga regarding Edward Snowden the individual alleged to reveal information about the US government domestic surveillance, one wonder how far this will go.
It would appear that government and in particular politicians is under the illusions that the public is nothing more than a naive bunch of individuals that do not have any clue as to what they are up to and the manner in which security operate. The fact that the vast majority of people chose to ignore what our security service is up to does not mean we are ignorant of these facts.
However, there are a number of people who although they may take an oath to keep the secrets of whatever government department they are attached to, sometimes find it rather difficult to keep the oath if it goes against their conscience and therein lies the problem.
Of course, it is important that our security service operates in a manner that give them an advantage against the perceive threat of terrorism, but how do you equate that with an individual that believes in order to accomplish their goal the government is trampling all over civil liberties and the right of an individual to have a modicum of privacy.
Currently, Bradley Manning a US soldier is on trial accused of leaking sensitive information to Wikileaks, which was plaster all over their website, and now comes Edward Snowden, what these two have in common, in my opinion it is their conscience, because I believe they genuinely convince themselves that there are information that is held by the government which the people have a right to know about, are they right in their assessment, history will either see them as hero or the villains of the 21st century.
However, I find it difficult to accept when the word treason starts to be bantered around. Granted we understand that these individuals may have broken their solemn vow, but treason is a harsh term to label anyone with. There is no secret that will ever be safe so long as human beings have a conscience, for any organization, governments or even individuals to keep a so-called secret we would have to be able to eliminate conscience and as that is somewhat impossible we rely on individuals to do what we believe is the right thing.
In my opinion, I believe these so-called whistleblowers are sending the government a message telling them that they should really undertake the functions of their responsibilities openly and relinquish some of these clandestine attitude that they seems to have. Of course, we also understand that when it comes to security issues they are going to be some operation that is sensitive and require a level of secrecy, but not all and sometimes they would be better supported if they tell the people the truth rather than try to deceive us after all honesty is the best policy and one that governments should try they might be very surprised at the reception that they receive.
By Sandrea: My Opinion