Like all good patriotic citizens, I hate my government. Every day they remind me why by a constant diet of incompetence and ineptitude. Bungled policy after failed initiative in badly managed agencies and departments throughout government. And on top of that they wrap me up in red tape and tax me into penury. But as much as I hate my government, and believe me it is a lot, I know that they are not actively trying to kill me. That’s what Islamist terrorists are trying to do. At their training camps, in their radical mosques and right here amongst us, they plot to kill us. Day in and day out, it’s all they talk about.
All that’s stopping the terrorists is my government. Yes, the one I hate. I know that is beyond comprehension and knowing how dysfunctional they are makes it more worrying. It brings the prospect of not being killed down to a matter of sheer luck, and as the IRA used to say, they only have to get lucky once, we have to be lucky every time. So I am totally in favour of my government spying on me and everyone else, intercepting emails, telephone calls and whatever else they want in order to track down and capture the terrorists before they get lucky. I don’t care that the government will find out what I say in private to my friends and colleagues. I don’t care what they find out about me. It’s what they find out about the terrorists that I care about. Any careless talk on their part might give our people the breakthrough they need to foil anther outrage and save innocent lives. Mine, perhaps. Or yours, perhaps.
It is a wonderment to me to see the left-wing chattering classes complaining bitterly about that surveillance. They seem blind to the threat from terrorists who are interested only in killing as many of us as they can. Incredibly, they regard the government as a bigger threat. Given the choice between having their emails read and innocent people being blown up on a plane, they’d sacrifice the innocent people. So I’m not happy about all this agitation over Snowden blowing the lid on government surveillance. What he did was wrong and is a setback in the war on terror. It will assuredly lead to innocent people losing their lives because tracking down and stopping terrorists will be that much harder now they have learned they have to be even more careful.
In short, I resent that Snowden and people like him have appointed themselves the guardians of my civil liberties, especially as the trade-off they have accepted on my behalf is greater risk to my life and safety.
This is not dissimilar to airport security: having our passports and tickets checked, being frisked and searched, having our baggage and shoes x-rayed. What is the left-wing chattering class take on that? Is that an invasion of civil liberties? Yes, of course it is, and I resent it too. But if we campaign against airport security, and like another self-appointed Snowden we disrupt their efforts, the result will be a free pass for terrorists to plant bombs aboard our flights. So a government agent wants to look inside your hand luggage? So what? So a government agent wants to read your emails? So what?
I have great confidence in the technical skills of those working in the intelligence community. I trust them to be able to sift through billions of messages and find actionable information about the terrorists. I am glad the government gave them the funding and the cover to go ahead and I am hopeful the government will act decisively when presented with opportunities. That may seem a forlorn hope given my opinion of government competence, but fortunately any action that needs to be taken will be taken by the security services and I have the highest respect for their professionalism too.
So, Snowden, shut up, you’re making things worse.