Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

Blog archive
Kevin Coleman

Between a rock and a hard place

The electronic spying controversy has captured the news media and the attention of lawmakers in Washington, as well as much of the American public. The polarization on this topic is clearly evident just listening to the coverage on five of the major TV networks: NBC, ABC, CNN, CBS and FOX. Surprisingly, support for this program is not split along party lines.

What is not very surprising to many that are involved in or have been involved in the intelligence community is the change in President Barack Obama’s opinion and attitude from earlier in his political career. I once heard a story that when a senior government official was first briefed on the current state of threat he stopped the briefing halfway through and dropped his head in his hands.

Just imagine what the cyber threat environment looks like from the top (NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander or President Obama), compared to the mental picture of that environment the general public currently has.

There has to be some degree of trust by the American public. That being said, trust is earned—not freely given. Gaining, or as some would say regaining, that trust must be a priority for the administration and the intelligence community. And, as we’ve seen over the last week, that job just got a lot tougher.

What is likely to be the biggest leak of classified information in history will have far-reaching implications, of which most will not be evident or known to the public. It is a huge blow to the security of the nation.

However, the damage does not stop there. America’s allies are watching this very closely, and wondering if they, too, will be damaged by the fallout. They have to ask, how safe is the intelligence they collect and provide the U.S. in light of what has just taken place?

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jun 14, 2013 at 4:34 AM


Reader Comments

Fri, Jun 21, 2013

The whole problem with all of this is not the spying in and of itself. It is the continuation of abuses by those in power against those they "serve." Rule of law is dead in this country, unless you are the little guy then it is alive and well. As far as security of the nation, the financial shenanigans of TPTB are FAR greater threat to national security than any terrorist ever thought of being. One airplane, one bomb, even god forbid one nuke will not bring this country down. The financial machinations of TPTB along with the continuing increasing restrictions on the peaceable American public (Law abiding is no longer possible or accurate.) in pursuit of the terrorist boogyman most certainly will. Laws not uniformly enforced are just another tool of oppression.

Wed, Jun 19, 2013

I guess the old addage is true. If you can't tell your mother about it, you probably shouldn't do it.

Mon, Jun 17, 2013

In light of both the contradiction of what this POTUS has said of this program as well as the numerous other scandals committed by this administration the trust is long gone for most people. That is the main reason why this particular issue is so controversial. It is one thing to swing a big net looking for terrorists who want to bring down this nation. But when the people in charge illegally use the Government programs to go after free speach and the opposing political party, then it becomes obvious to many that this program will likely be abbused (if it has not already been) by this administration.

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