Permanent Record is the book written by Edward Snowden, who bravely told the world that America was spying on everyone. If you are interested in a better understanding of how things really work, Permanent Record is a must read. If you don’t already know the truth about America, you will find it upsetting.
Edward Snowden grew up the only son of parents who worked for the government. People from both sides of his family served in different branches of the military. Shortly after 9/11, looking to make a difference, a young Snowden joined the army. In Permanent Record, he tells us how he went from feeling the urge to do his patriotic duty to knowingly, skillfully releasing information about America’s unconstitutional spying on Americans to journalists.
As someone who believes he already knows the evils of America, reading Permanent Record left me outraged. By using the stories of people using the data that was collected in violation to stalk exes and the sharing of illegally-obtained nudes, Snowden paints a sickening picture of America’s supposed nation security system. But the biggest outrage of all is how so many knew what they were doing was wrong and either participated in it or refused to blow the whistle.
The most ironic comparison is that which Snowden makes between himself and James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence. Clapper committed perjury when he told Congress the government wasn’t collecting information on all Americans. Even though he committed perjury and led efforts to violate the constitutional rights of every American, Clapper is now sold to us as a respected member of society. Media outlets pay this known perjurer and violateor of constitutional rights to share his opinions with America without telling the public of Clapper’s lack of integrity.
On the other hand, Snowden told the truth. Thanks to him, laws have changed and the public is more aware of the ways their government spies on them. Yet, Snowden has been in exile in Russia for years. It’s very likely he will never be able to return home. The law won’t let him argue the virtue behind his actions and/or the good he accomplished; instead, he faces decades in prison because he shared classified information with the public about our government’s illegal conduct.
In America, telling the truth about America is a punishable offense. In America, committing perjury to keep the public from discovering you are leading efforts to violate their constitutional rights is respected. How does anyone believe the American government?