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The Whistles Heard Round the World

The Whistles heard round the world2

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8/3/2013

By Adam Weatherall

 

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood,

And fired the shot heard round the world.

 The foe long since in silence slept;

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;

And Time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

 

On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We set to-day a votive stone;

That memory may their deed redeem,

When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

 

Spirit, that made those heroes dare,

To die, and leave their children free,

Bid Time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and thee.

 

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    The preceding text was alas not my own. My pen is not yet that talented, my words do not yet have the same weight and elegance as those of the greater minds of our past. Emerson’s words have a certain correlation to current events in regards to how I believe we should treat those brave enough to endure punishment for the betterment of society. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote his poem in 1837 for a dedication of the Obelisk, a monument in Concord, Massachusetts commemorating the Battle of Concord, the second in a series of battles and skirmishes on April 19, 1775 at the outbreak of the American Revolution. Much has been spoken since then of “the shot heard round the world” in both the pages of history and throughout the fiery lines of our most patriotic text. It was that Iconic moment when a tiny fledgling group of colonies dared to defy the empire upon which the sun never set. But lately folks don’t give much notice to the occasional gunshot. Even in the safest of communities one will overlook the loud crack of a single gunshot so long as their favorite TV show is on. Yet, it might be considered odd that in today’s fast paced modern times all we require is a well placed “whistle” to break our collective ear drums and cause us then to raise our voices just enough to scratch the global sound barrier.

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    For clarification as to what a whistleblower is, I site our own government, who best defined it in “The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989” which is a Federal law that protects whistleblowers who work for the government and report agency misconduct. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant. Whistleblowers may file complaints that they believe violates a law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

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    While it is questionable whether that definition correctly applies in the case of Bradley Manning ,( the army private recently convicted for his now infamous info dump to WikiLeaks in which he leaked hundreds of thousands of documents, some considered so sensitive parts were made confidential by the website Wikileaks themselves.)  It is far harder to question that definition when applied to Edward Snowden the former N.S.A contractor who recently received a year’s worth of amnesty in Russia for his part in the recent P.R.I.S.M information leak. That leak which revealed in detail the N.S.A’s domestic spying apparatus has also propelled Mr. Snowden to the top of the administration’s shall we say “To Do List”.  Though our President says he now welcomes the conversation that Mr. Snowden has so graciously provided, he still seeks to “prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.”  This seems contrary to a perhaps younger and more naive Barack Obama who campaigned on this topic among many but specifically citing this bill in regards to its need to be strengthened. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 which our P.O.T.U.S promised to invigorate and fortify was then later stripped of most of its provisions in the fall of 2011, and was later put on a rare “anonymous hold” by the Senate, which effectively killed the bill. It makes one wonder what facts came to the President’s attention within these last 5 years that have lead him to change his opinion on the matter.

    Edward Snowden’s latest information dump is headlined by a N.S.A program known asXKeyscore which is a formerly secret computer system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing internet data about foreign nationals across the world. The program is run jointly with other agencies, including Australia and New Zealand among others. This leak seems to be released as cover as he quietly snuck out of the Moscow Airport this morning to a nearby safe house. And it leaves the Obama administration and specifically press secretary Jay Carney wondering when the next leak might give way to another flood of questions from an increasingly perplexed white house press room. What seems the strangest reaction of all is how little the public seems to care about the former N.S.A contractor’s most recent reactions, headlines confirm that “the public loses interest in Prism.” Frankly from my perspective it was never there, not in the way it should have been on that day when the American people finally learned that Big Brother was not only alive and real he was staring back at us from our computer screen and cellular device. As our electronic devices have spread to even the smallest crevices of our interconnected lives so too has our nation’s eldest male sibling tried to seep. I personally was mad as hell when I found out that at least some of the notions of the paranoid conspiracy theorist that lives in my head were true. I thought the nation which gave birth to our very modern concept of freedom would too…

    It seems that has yet to happen, but I would encourage our collective regards for Eric Snowden to be viewed in the most positive of lights. In both trying to adhere to the timeless adage “don’t kill the messenger” and in trying to understand that Mr. Snowden most likely did what his conscious demanded of him. There are not many among us who would have the courage to reveal the information that he did while being fully aware of the consequences. Men like Eric Snowden have existed in the past. They hid in shadows and called themselves “deep throat” paying careful attention never to reveal their names but bringing down an administration in the process. Without men like deep throat a man like Richard Nixon might be remembered less for Watergate, and more for ending the draft or improving relations with China and Russia during the height of the cold war. Without these last few years worth of whistles by these pesky blowers we might not have events like the Arab Spring or even know about the various acts of torture and war committed in our names. Hopefully President Obama will remember that Candidate Obama once held the same ideals as Deep Throat, or Eric Snowden or even perhaps young Bradley Manning. But until that point folks, and to all our fans at the N.S.A…I hope logic will prevail.

 

More info and links here >

 

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

President Obama while at Harvard

President Obama while at Harvard

Adam Weatherall
Adam Weatherall
Adam Weatherall is the political correspondent for PowerFist.Us a company whose mission is to spread truth and justice to all within it's reach, but more specifically to cover news stories that are often times pushed aside by larger media organizations.

 

 

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