Today, I think I finally understood what is happening to this world. The epiphany hit me this morning, just upon waking up, in that groggy place between dream and reality. Sometime during the past year, we must have entered a parallel universe. Or perhaps someone reprogrammed the Matrix. Probably the NSA, aided by the GCHQ and Germany’s BND.
It happened sometime post Snowden. A plot to stop his revelations having any lasting effect. Or perhaps to make us believe that we are completely powerless, no matter how hard we try to change the state of things. That there is no means of resistance against the supremacy of NSA, GCHQ, BND and governments we never really elected. All our politicians have been replaced by androids. That’s the only possible explanation for why they have lost all common sense and keep making programmed decisions.
Take Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen (yes, it is a woman and yes, that really is her name). She has just decided that it would be a good idea for the German military to acquire a couple of drones. So Germany can have its own series of targeted killings – by the looks of it, the BND has been helping the US with their targeting anyway. It’s all done for the security of soldiers of course. Just like mass surveillance is necessary for national security. Pre-emptive war is next. Against Mars probably. To protect us from the aliens. Secret base on the asteroid that NASA plans to lasso into the Moon’s orbit.
No, I am not insane. Our elected leaders are. I can prove it too. The signs have been there for a while. In May, I blogged about how the UK prime minister David Cameron had lost his mind. That is only getting worse. Most recently, his insanity has manifested itself in Cameron’s row with the EU over the new president of the European Commission. Then the absurdity of the German government with its ludicrous legal opinions and Snowden-prevention. It has worked by the way, prevention: the majority of German MPs on the German parliament’s NSA “investigative” committee has voted to prevent Snowden from testifying in Germany. They are asking him to testify via video link from Russia instead. On September 11th. Anyone else notice the irony?
Snowden has previously rejected testimony in Russia. So effectively the German decision means no testimony at all. No proper inquiry without Snowden. Everything according to plan.
“If we do not want to put Mr Snowden at risk, we cannot just summon him to Germany,” said Christian Flisek, committee chairman for the Social Democrats (one of the coalition partners). And Roderich Kiesewetter, chairman for the Christian Democrats (Angela Merkel’s party) said: “We do not believe that Berlin is a suitable place for Mr Snowden to be.” I am not, for the umpteenth time, going to ask questions about German sovereignty or who runs the country. Instead, let me ask this: does anyone still believe that Berlin is the appropriate place for Flisek, Kiesewetter or any member of the ruling political parties to be? I suggest we send them all to Russia. They can then run the country via video link. And meet Mr Snowden while they’re there. Then again, no: the country is already being run remotely. From the Oval Office, I think. Possibly also via video link. Or by reprogramming the Matrix. We’d never know unless someone gave us a red pill.
Which is precisely the problem: We have had the red pill. Given to us by Edward “Morpheus” Snowden. Or Verax, for that matter. Sadly, Germany’s elected leaders in particular seem immune to its effects. The UK government has always been a hopeless case. Only the US government might be coming to its senses.
Germany, had they been given a choice, would have taken the blue pill anyway. The red one causes too much trouble. You’d have to leave the cosy goo you’re floating in and face reality. Horrid! Chancellor Merkel prefers her new mobile phone. It is a magical thing. It represses encrypts things. The chip in it costs 2500 Euros – paid for by the taxpayer, I wonder? If yes, can I work tax-free for a couple months to save up for my own crypto-phone?
The other MPs simply bear the spying „with dignity.“ (Yes, one of them really said this. He meant it as a joke but still – what does that seem to tell us about his attitude towards mass surveillance?) Meanwhile, the German government changed its phone and broadband provider. It has given Verizon the boot and plans to establish a secure federal communications infrastructure. But perhaps no secure infrastructure for 80-odd million Germans.
There used to be a time – before the last general election in Germany – when the leader of the Social Democrats, Siegmar Gabriel, agreed that what was going on wasn’t right. Now, Mr Gabriel lives proof that the German government has been replaced by robots. Or that we are living in a new version of the Matrix in which reality is the exact opposite of what any sensible person would expect it to be. Mr Gabriel, too, is now saying the exact opposite of what he said before the election. I have commented on this before. I have even emailed the social democrats and Mr Gabriel about it. This was in April and May. To this day, I haven’t received as satisfactory reply. I guess it’s not what he’s been programmed to do, replying.
Meanwhile, the NSA support investigative committee has vowed that it will “lose no time” investigating recent revelations by Der Spiegel that the German BND has been working closely with the NSA. They will do it right after the summer break, said Patrick Sensburg, the committee’s chair-android. Sascha Lobo pointed out in Der Spiegelthat it takes a peculiar sense of time to use the phrases “lose no time” and “after the summer break” in the same utterance. Clearly, the MPs’ reality is different from ours.
I guess the course of action proposed by vice-chancellor Gabriel last year (before the election, when he was still the opposition) has been deleted from the federal androids‘ hard drives and replaced by new „cyber dialogue“ software. Successfully tested on foreign secretary Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently, the new programme means a lot of talk but no action. The Matrix is healing itself, quarantining the virus that is Edward Snowden, assimilating us all. Resistance is futile.
No, I haven’t lost my mind. I haven’t lost my mind. I am still hoping that when I wake up tomorrow, reality will once again be what it should be. Edward Snowden will be a celebrated whistleblower, there will be meaningful reform everywhere. I have been dreaming this dream for some time now. The problem is: this is reality, I am awake. There are no cyborgs, just secrecy, stupidity, failure, lack of interest…
Yes, sometimes it is difficult not to despair. But then, a wise man once said that in a democracy you always have two voices, two votes: the one at the ballot box and the one in debate. Well then, let’s debate. Let’s hand out red pills like candy. Let’s fight to make people aware. Then hopefully, debate will impact ballot and we can still win.
Greenpeace, the Tenth Amendment Centre and the EFF (legends!) this week showed us but one way of doing this, of raising awareness, of making their voices heard: they flew a giant blimp over the NSA data centre in Utah. On it, it said: “NSA, illegal spying below.” This is utter brilliance. We need more of the same.