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Can You Spot the Difference

Updated on July 13, 2013
Caught in the Act
Caught in the Act | Source

Whistle Blowing

What is the difference between a Russian lawyer blowing the whistle on corruption in his Government and a US security contractor blowing the whistle on his Government illegally taping into private communications?

The Russian lawyer who blew the whistle on corruption in Russia was praised by the US as a hero. After dying the lawyer was still tried in Russia to discredit him.

Snowden is being hunted down by the US for speaking up against the US Government. What is the difference?

US Drones
US Drones | Source

Cross Border Conflict

What is the difference between drones bombing terrorists in Pakistan and the Syrian shelling terrorists in Lebanon?

The US justifies its use of drones to carry out bombing missions in Pakistan by stating that they are targeting what they are certain are terrorists and therefore can continue that pursuit across international borders indiscriminately.

The Syrian Government forces, shell what they consider terrorists hiding in Lebanon and when they do this, the US says it is illegal. What is the difference?


Now that the US have been caught spying on their friends, they play it down saying all countries do it and so it is no big deal.

When some country is caught spying on the US, the US demand that embargoes and sanctions be placed against that country. What is the difference?


Now I am not saying that any of these actions are right or wrong, I am only pointing out that there is a difference when the US does something and when someone else does the same thing, well that is the view of the US Government anyway, but why?

The United States are trying to promote themselves as the peacekeepers in the world, the light of freedom and justice that the rest of the world should follow, yet they let their arrogance soar and have their hypocrisy in free fall.

The first rule of justice is equality, equal rights and that no one should be held above the laws that the rest must stick to.

Surely then, if the US really wants to be the model for the rest of the world, it should first get its leaders in order, and have them comply with the rules, that they themselves would impose on others. Only when they have successfully accomplished that can they expect the rest of the world to look up to them with respect and look to them as a lead to follow on a course of equality and justice.


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    • jtrader profile image


      7 years ago

      Voted up and interesting. Yo made several good points.

    • d.william profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Without taking anything you said literally, your point is well made. We do live in a country that has double standards in every aspect of our lives.

      The "do as i say, not as i do" attitude is rampant in all levels of society - from the view of, parents 'teaching' their children, religions controlling their members, to government members who make laws for others but not themselves, etc....

      And citing 9/11 as an example of why we all need to be spied on by our government is ludicrous. Hind sight is ALWAYS 20/20 vision.

      No one could have anticipated these events even by one's wildest imaginations, no matter how much spying was going on at the time.

      What this country, as with any other country, wants to portray to the rest of the world is the ideal, not the actual, image.

      The same attitude of "do as i say, not what i do" mentality.

    • rafken profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      Snowden is certainly guilty of breech of contract, it is only a question of whether or not he was morally wrong. You are right this is as usual being run by big business and in this case contractors instead of bankers. We know this because no US Government has ever gone this far, risking international agreements, just to get hold of a big 'businessman' who had broken the law, let alone was in breech of contract.

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Now I totally agree with you. But this has nothing to do with surveillance and safety themselves, but we the way we do business. Unfortunately, not that I am a big supporter of the government idea, we need it, but we need it to do its job.

      Lately the government has been turned into a bad guy, while corporations a creeping more and more into our lives assuming government role...

      It seems that what we miss here is the fact that NSA does not collect the data. NSA only gets access to the data collected by the ISP providers.

      You are right about the contractors. It used to be a time when these jobs were not assigned to "contractors", they were run by the government. This days big government is a dirty word, however a big contractor is called successful business...

      The fact that a GED holder was turned loose in such an environment is not the government fault. There was a lot of pressure for those jobs to be contracted out to the private sector. That guy would have never been cleared the access he had in a structured, over bureaucratic government structure.

      We hired contractors to do the fighting in the wars, we pay them unthinkable amounts for their services, which most of the time are done in illegal ways, they create problems for us all, yet the blame entity is the government.

      All government jobs are posted on the web, with complete description and with the salary offerings. For the amount of money this guy was making (he said $200,000 the company says that he is not telling the truth because he was making only $125,000) a government job requires at least a PhD level background. The contractor offered it to a GED holder... They turned the proverbial fox into the chicken coup security guard...

      OK, it is very infuriating that the government is watching us, especially when we try to do harm to the American people. But it is OK for the data collected by Facebook to be sold to the insurance companies, who decide who lives and who dies based on scientific information these days...


      It seems to me that all the discussion revolving around Snowden right now is nothing more than a disinformation campaign to protect the real evil minds behind what is happening, and this campaign is run by nobody else but the government contractor industry to protect their interests.

      Mind you that this particular contractor is in the news for the second time in a few months, and it is not for good practices.

    • rafken profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      That is true but controlled by who? In most cases even the President does not know what they are doing. The main problem is the so called security services themselves. Do you really believe that a private first class could get hold of that much information or a young civilian contractor? They shouldn't have access to that much in the first place and second if those junior ones can go public with that much, how much are higher ones selling privately? They should be concentrating on watching themselves more, as right now the US has no secrets and wonder why they are getting upstaged at every moment. Bigger heads should roll and their whole set up changed. They now take in so much information that they can not evaluate it until after the fact, as with 9/11. Like everything else, it is not always the amount you can do but the quality in which you can do it. The US government is way too arrogant spending too much effort trying to convince the world that they are the best, instead of a little less effort making themselves the best.

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      You are right about the two sets of values, but I don't think it is very constructive to ask the impossible... Besides, this surveillance game has been played by all parties all the time. They knew that we are spying on them, we know they are trying the same with us. At times they can even exchange information. This time though everyone is in a difficult position, because there is a smoking gun, Snowden's leaks. Until now, there was none, everyone could claim "innocence" and life was easier.

      The funny part that for about thirty years, Hoover performed surveillance on whomever he wanted, including presidents, without anyone knowing anything until after his death. At least right now, the process is legalized and it is somehow controlled...

    • rafken profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      forbcrin- I am not saying that the US are not taking the right action or not, I am merely pointing out that the they have two sets of values, one for themselves and one for others and that is not the way to set an example of equality and true justice.

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      "What is the difference between a Russian lawyer blowing the whistle on corruption in his Government and an US security contractor blowing the whistle on his Government illegally taping into private communications?"

      If you don't see the difference, you are either blind, or I may say that you have a twisted idea about reality...

      The Russian lawyer blew the whistle on corrupted officials, some of them being tied up to government levels. The biggest difference is that the Russian lawyer is dead while the American government contractor is still alive.

      Other difference is that the American contractor had access to information that his Russian counter part did not have. Also, he did not stop at showing that the government was "spying" on Americans, but he went over and above the scope of his "outrage".

      Besides, so far the government is not doing anything illegal. There is a court, it may be questionable, but there is one, and the surveillance is done under its control. We are a "country of laws", and so far they have been acting according to the laws in the book.

      Are the laws abusive? That is another question that has to be addressed to those who proposed the bills, and voted them into laws.

      I am surprised at the casual and inflammatory tone you are adopting in your writing.

      I tell you what! I was born and lived twenty years of my life under a totalitarian regime. I have been living more under the "American dictatorship".

      If America were one, this posting would have not stayed here too long, and by now you would have spent some time at Lubyanka.

      I wish Americans would get some common sense one day, and did not really think that we are the best thing after the sliced bread. We have freedom, and there is always a price to pay for the freedom.

      Had the government did their job in surveillance as anyone is saying, the 99/11 would have never existed. There is enough knowledge to support the reality that it was organized under the government's eyes, on public telephones network and on the Internet...

      I don't really like GW, however I don't really think that he had any other way to handle the events. At the time when they happen, the only person who could have ordered the planes shut down was the president.

      I can't imagine GW ordering those planes shut down, and survive one hour the outrage of the American public...

      But I suppose that you wrote a very eye-catching article and there will be traffic, although there is nothing really to talk about...


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