Where in the Red World is Edward Snowden?

To spy or not to spy; that is the question.  Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Islamism or to build an enormous facility out West to archive the conversation of every American citizen on the chance that the NSA might capture that one conversation that will uncover a hideous radical Muslim plot to simultaneously blow every Federal building, monument, and school, every tunnel, bridge, and nuclear plant and a few shopping malls and synagogues and save America?

Former CIA Specialist Edward Snowden outted the NSA’s super-secret program called PRISM which has the capability of eavesdropping on any American making a phone call overseas.  Nothing is to say they can’t eavesdrop on domestic calls, either.  Or just walk down any street in America with an operating television set and use an old, 1960’s children’s walkie-talkie to listen in on what those dastardly Tea Partiers have to say.

During World War II, the United Kingdom was the Mother Country of a social (or is that Socialist) research organization called Mass Observation.  Founded in 1937, M.O. aimed to record everyday life in Britain through a panel of around 500 untrained volunteer observers who either maintained diaries or replied to open-ended questionnaires known as directives.  M.O. also paid investigators to anonymously record people’s conversation and behavior at work, on the street and at various public occasions including public meetings and sporting and religious events.

Nazi propaganda was at its height.  Through the broadcasts of the infamous Lord Haw-Haw, the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda attempted to discourage and demoralize British, Canadian, Australian and American troops and the British population within radio listening range.  Their aim was to suppress the effectiveness of the Allied war effort and motivate the Allies to agree to peace terms leaving the Nazi regime intact and in power.

Among many techniques used, the Nazi broadcasts prominently reported on the shooting down of Allied aircraft and the sinking of Allied ships, presenting discouraging reports of high losses and casualties among Allied forces.  Although the broadcasts were widely known to be Nazi propaganda, they frequently offered the only details available from behind enemy lines concerning the fate of friends and relatives who did not return from bombing raids over Germany.

As a result, Allied troops and civilians frequently listened to Lord Haw-Haw’s broadcasts in spite of the sometimes infuriating content and frequent inaccuracies and exaggerations, in the hopes of learning clues about the fate of Allied troops and air crews.  Mass Observation interviews warned the Ministry of Information of this and as a result more attention was given to the official reports of British military casualties.

“Lord Haw-Haw” was the nickname of several announcers on the English-language propaganda radio program, Germany Calling, broadcast by Nazi German radio to audiences in Great Britain on the medium wave station Reichssender Hamburg and by shortwave to the United States.  The program started on Sept. 18, 1939 and continued until April 30, 1945, when Hamburg was overrun by the British Army. This nickname, “Lord Haw-Haw,” generally refers to William Joyce, who was German radio’s most prominent English-language speaker and to whom it gradually came to be exclusively applied.  However, it was also applied to other broadcasters, mostly in the early stages of the war.

Radio critic Jonah Barrington of the Daily Express applied the phrase in describing a German broadcaster, in an attempt to reduce his possible impact:  “He speaks English of the haw-haw, dammit-get-out-of-my-way-variety.” In practice, the name was applied to a number of different announcers and even soon after Barrington coined the nickname, it was uncertain exactly which German broadcaster he was describing.  Some British media and listeners just used “Lord Haw-Haw” as a generic term to describe all English-language German broadcasters, although other nicknames, like “Sinister Sam,” were occasionally used by the BBC to distinguish between obviously different speakers.  Poor reception may have contributed to some listeners’ difficulties in distinguishing between broadcasters.

In reference to the nickname, American pro-Nazi broadcaster Fred W. Kaltenbach was given the moniker Lord Hee-Haw by the British media.  The Lord Hee-Haw name, however, was used for a time by The Daily Telegraph to refer to Lord Haw-Haw, generating some confusion between nicknames and broadcasters.

So what are we to nickname Edward Snowden?  Eddie the Sneak/Snitch/Snoop, or maybe Ed the Red, who has gone on a whirlwind, round-the-Communist-World tour pedaling his top secret wares?  No one is even sure where he is or where he’s going.  We know he has been in Hong Kong, China, and left.  His destination is something of a, well, secret.  Rumors have him landing in Russia, Cuba, North Korea and Iran.  The NSA is hot on his trail with an arrest warrant as soon as he lands in country with an extradition treaty.

Or is Snowden a free speech superhero concerned that our unreliable administration will, in fact (some say he already has) turned the devices on freedom-loving Americans, seeking out opponents of his policies to intimidate them into silence.  An IRS agent refuses to divulge how the Tea Parties came to be targeted, basing her assertion on non-Constitutional grounds, defending her right to remain silent.  Yet, Snowden warns the American people of a surveillance program that could be used on innocent people and the Administration launches a worldwide man-hunt?  Anti-Fed Ed?  The Freedom of Speech Spook?  The Spook Who Spoke?  Don’t Tread on Ed?  Yeah, the hero titles don’t quite work, do they?

He may have been right about exposing this administration’s capability for spying on its own people.  But then he took off for the nearest Communist country and handed them all our secrets, at least according to the Obama Administration.  Snowden’s actions don’t look very good;  Rather like Julian Assange (who took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London) after he leaked secret intelligence. 

Lord Haw-Haw must be having a good laugh down there in Hell. 

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Published in: on June 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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