Beyond the News
12 people were killed last Monday (16) in US Capital City during a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard. The shooter, Aaron Alexis, died on site. He was later identified as a Navy Contractor who actually has served the Navy for 4 years as a petty officer. What a surprise! The American government is highly engaged to maintain country’s security against Arab terrorists, but cannot even check its own human resources data to find out potential threats internally.
When Edward Snowden came forward to leak thousands of documents about spying procedures in the US, he said that the government did not have the rights to access people’s private information because it had nothing to do with fighting terrorism. Nevertheless, part of public opinion considers him a traitor.
But the question that now emerges is: How could USA put in place such a complex system of international spying and, at the same time, not be able to oversee internal military HR files?
Aaron Alexis was already arrested in 2004 for shooting someone else’s car’s tire in public for simply being in “anger-attack”. In 2008 he was again arrested for a disorder conduct and has called up hospitals seeking help because he was hearing voices and was not able to sleep. During one of his arrests he said that 3 people were following him (although he was never able to see them), and sending vibrations into his body. In spite all the above mentioned, he had full access to the Washington Navy Yard granted until 2017.
In other words, this incident makes US more vulnerable to terrorist attacks and put the American society in higher danger than any document leaked by Snowden. Why? Because if real terrorists know that a US citizen can make this damage, they will certainly believe that much more could be done by them (no matter whether they have or not detailed information about US security).
Brazilian president postpones visit to US
As we talk about Snowden’s case, last Tuesday the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff postponed the meeting that she supposed to have with Barack Obama in Washington later this year. The visit was going to be the first of a Brazilian president with honors of Chief of State since 1990’s. Nevertheless, Mrs. Rousseff wants from Mr. Obama a better explanation on why the USA accessed her private data (including e-mails), as well as, confidential information about Petrobras, Brazilian largest petroleum company. The American president so far did not manage to put it straight!
This week, Mr. Obama was literally in a cross-fire in Washington, but he managed to take a time to make a phone call to Mrs. Rousseff on Tuesday, one day after the gun rampage and a week from the announcement of his agreement on Russian’s plan about Syria. What were the contents of this call? Well, probably something like “I have opened an internal investigation on the spying issue, if you wish to cancel the visit I will understand, once I have a feedback we can set another date for you to come. You are still very welcome in Washington”. The Brazilian president did not have choices. She cannot crack on a strong partner like US too easy and while it is not possible for her to “shout” too much, postpone this meeting is the best way to say: “I am not happy with it and want a plausible explanation”.
On the other hand, it gives some time for Mr. Obama to rethink the strategies for his last presidential term in power. He needs to review the Syrian’s invasion and inside the US the disarmament discussion is back to the top of American agenda, an issue which Mr. Obama faces a lot of pressure from communities, politicians and private companies. At last, he needs to also keep his fingers crossed and pray for Snowden to not leak anything else too bombastic! At least not now while working on explanations for Brazil, a country which no one at the current stage want to have problems with.
It looks like that there is much more behind the NSA work than simply “fight the terrorism” and Syria’s case is now under Russian control. It is going to be interesting to see Mr. Obama’s next steps.