Lipstick on a pig?

When you hear plattitudes about privacy, free speech, civil liberties, imperialism, and evil government, do consider the source and the object. When the source ‘escapes’ to someplace like Russia, China, or others of their ilk and the object has more to do with rationalizing behavior than it does with proper involvement in civics, there is good reason for skepticism. The latest example is the confession of the party whose treason stimulated the brouhaha about NSA monitoring of communications. Ed’s got the story in wondering: are the NSA leaks a form of Chinese espionage?

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll all be trying to make sense of the revelations about the NSA’s surveillance programs, and the motives of at least one man apparently behind them.  Edward Snowden unveiled himself as the source to the Washington Post and the Guardian in the UK, but Snowden wasn’t a seasoned intelligence agent or analyst, but a 29-year-old IT expert without any other advanced education.  His choice of asylum in the wake of the leaks — Hong Kong — as well as Snowden’s explanation of it raised even more eyebrows.”

The pretense is that Hong Kong was chosen as an escape destination because it “‘they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent,’ and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.” — Greenwald is talking about China here, with a straight face?

The story raises another question related to the sale of a technical education. The perpetraitor in this case was in a $200k salary job without even a proper high school diploma to his name.

Lipstick on a pig is one way to describe a thin coat of paint on something very ugly.

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