Recently I’ve been working my way through all the John le Carré novels featuring spymaster George Smiley. The stories depict the bureaucratic maneuvering of officials in London as sharply as they do the undercover work of agents in the field. The result is what appears to be a complete picture of how a government intelligence service operates. It’s as equally frightening for its frequent ineptitude as for its operational ruthlessness. One takes comfort in the notion that it’s all just fiction.
Only it’s not, is it? The reams of classified documents taken by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and released to journalists have painted a portrait of an establishment that’s operated far beyond previously established legal boundaries in its fight against terrorism since September 11, 2001. American leaders have been exposed for having lied to the people, as well as to the people’s representatives in Congress.
Those who have carefully followed the reporting of Glenn Greenwald and others since Snowden came forward in June 2013 won’t be surprised by any of the revelations about the NSA’s operations discussed in Laura Poitras’ documentary, Citizenfour.Full Story