a reply to: Capitalsource
That was one of the best documentary programmes I have ever seen.
I left the couch only to make a hot water bottle for my mother, and fetch a glass of water, and both of these I did during the advertising breaks.
This documentary deals with arguably the most important scandal of the times in which we live, a scandal to which there has been no acceptable
conclusion, for which no one has been held responsible. Some people, many of them right here on this site, had known that something like the
structures described by Snowden in his releases, must have existed well before the revelations were made, and were vocal in saying so. It was
something that many of us were concerned about for quite a few years previous to the breakage of the spying scandal by the news media.
Many of us were called kooks for even caring whether or not our governments were spying on us, and now it turns out, that indeed, by co-operating
with one another, the intelligence communities of allied nations are indeed spying on their own citizens, by getting foreign agencies to do the work
for them. Britain's own GCHQ feeds gigantic amounts of information to the NSA and I would imagine that at the intelligence level, there is a great
deal of return traffic.
All of this plays into the idea that the individual intelligence agencies which comprise the "five eyes" or the "fourteen eyes" as the allied
nations intelligence services are sometimes known, are no longer beholden to the people that they were originally set up to protect, and that should
trouble everyone here.
Having watched the documentary, no alarm bells what so ever went off in my head. I watched it looking for two things. Self interest on the part of
Snowden, and instability. It was, on a purely selfish level, damned stupid of him to do what he did. He knew it would be the end of what he knew as
his life, that it might mean forced separation from some of his closest relations, that it would endanger his liberty, and I would imagine that his
mortality probably occurred to him at some point, as being one of the potential costs of making his knowledge public. Self interest therefore, would
seem a far fetched motive in his releasing the information that he did, but you never know what might lurk in a mans intent.
However, all I saw was a man who wanted to do the right thing, without endangering specific individuals doing dangerous work. Diligence was applied
at all stages, and I think that in terms of the way the data was handled, and the way that he dealt with himself during the interview process was
admirable, not to mention the manner in which he reasoned out the legitimacy of his actions. I believe, from watching the documentary, that my initial
assessment of his character was right, that he is indeed a patriot, a man who loves his country, and wanted his fellow countrymen to understand the
wrong being done to them, in the name of "freedom".
Furthermore, I also believe having seen how he reacted to certain stimuli during the course of the film, that although fatigued and in a very
unenviable position, his mental state was one of indignant, restrained, and justified fury, not one of anarchistic and radical, not to mention
irresponsible whimsy. He genuinely believes that what he was doing in releasing that information, was the right thing to do for his fellow countrymen,
and that it was worth the sacrifice of a great deal, and perhaps his own life or liberty, to make those releases happen.
That was my take on the content which specifically pertained to Snowden himself. With respect to the data, there was nothing in the documentary that
was new to me in terms of actual data revealed, because certain elements of this documentary also ended up in the general releases which were
published in the news media during the revelations concerned. However, I was not expecting new data of that sort. I got what I wanted from the
documentary, which was to hear those discussions between Snowden and the journalists who covered the story with his collaboration, and get a feel of
how it all went down.
Ever since I heard of Snowden and the manner in which his information was initially collected, I wanted to have been a fly on the wall so to speak,
in that room, as it happened, and the documentary gets me pretty bloody close.
In terms of the way it was put together, I cannot fault the editing, the directing, the production team, or any part of the finishing process which
laid out the final piece as it was. All of that being said, I would love to know if there is a video record of the whole of the eight hour total
encounter with Snowden, and if so, where I could download or stream it. I get the feeling that for the very same reason as there will have been
certain data points redacted from the releases for reasons of protecting the innocent and operatives who might be endangered by data being released,
the full eight hours of interview will probably not be available, because there may be within those hours of recorded data, reference to information
which would be very unhelpful to operatives whose lives depend on their anonymity.
A bloody good watch, and I highly recommend anyone who missed it, to go and find it on the Channel 4 website.