On the 27th February 1933, there was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany as the fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government when in fact it was the Nazis who were responsible. It began a scary glimpse of somebody who craved a totalitarian world-system as Hitler urged then-President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the "ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany."
With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates. The National Socialist German Workers Party went from being a plurality party to the majority; subsequent elections confirmed this position and thus allowed Hitler to consolidate his power and become the infamous dictator who killed millions of innocent Jews, gays and other minorities. Hitler tricked his own people through contrived events into affording him total power of Germany and in turn, set about ruling the world, through fear and power.
Pre-Snowden, conspiracy theories were something people laughed at and dismissed. But with the world never being so aware of America's relentless attempts to curb our right to privacy, suddenly the events of the Reichstag draws immediate parallels with the events that facilitated American to launch The War On Terror and confirm itself as a superpower that is feared by everyone but a select few. Europe has been indebted to the US since WWII and the events of 9/11 delivered such benefits to the US government that no country could argue with the self-appointed savior of the Western world thanks to a new world of fear.
It was this immediate fear ramped up by the US government and the power of the American press that enabled President George W Bush to pass through Congress the unconstitutional USA PATRIOT Act of 2011. A key act changed within this was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which paved the way for PRISM, a massive domestic surveillance program whose existence was revealed by Edward Snowden last month - proven by Bloomberg to be useless in the quest to stop terrorism. Just like Obama had courted America's biggest banks to support him in his quest for Presidency, on September 11th 2007, the National Security Agency signed up Microsoft as its first partner - once again allowing America to get into bed with the world's biggest corporations, both acutely aware of the assets protected from this move.
Yet despite the Guardian's valiant attempts to uncover the full story behind America's brazen attempt to snoop on the Western world, thanks to the ignorance of the right-wing press (along with an expected naivety of those who don't follow the news), Snowden has become a mere pawn in a tyrannical game. My first instinct is to be angered by this, but then I am filled full of a desperate resignation knowing that we simply don't stand a chance. Where anybody we once believed to be righteous is now seen to be turning their backs on us. It would appear that we are living in a planet where a person can't fight any US political prosecution and that is a terrifying state of affairs.
Welcome to the room of mirrors, where nothing is as it looks like. But that isn't how real life works. Yet that is how the American government wants to operate, bullying smaller nations such as Ecuador and Bolivia and panicked the French and Portuguese who, via vice-president Joe Biden, has strong-armed anyone prepared to consider Edward Snowden's request for asylum with either threats, bribes or old-school cowardliness. Economic weaklings cannot pick fights with the system, remember. Ultimately, if PRISM was actually so helpful and wonderful, why did the administration keep it secret? If it was done for the benefit of Americans, then surely telling their citizens about it would not damage it in any way?
The reason it embarrasses America and causes them to act in such a manner is that one of the biggest parts of Obama's campaign rhetoric was that the US government would limit the spying it does on US citizens and these revelations show that he has defied his own promises beyond even what the right were doing under Bush, and Snowden clearly felt he was within his rights to leak this information given that all this is done without providing any legal cause whatsoever.
Edward Snowden has opened up a chance for us to finally put it to the powers that be that we won't stand for surrendering our own freedoms through articulated fear and the promise of peace from those who secretly wish for it the least. Instead, we should take heed from the spirit of places such as Glastonbury - somewhere that promotes equality, peace and love, but also a strong voice to be reckoned with and not let this pass us by because we fear we're too small to be heard or simply will be censored.
A lot of what I have said is obvious to the well-informed, but a lot is also unknown to the wider population because they've trained either not to believe it or not to care. It's easier said than done, and I wish I knew a way to make it happen, but please, get it together world, find a way to care. Find a way to realise how we sacrificed our freedom out of a fear orchestrated by our governments. This has now become a major European political crisis and if nobody stands up to the United States, they will continue inflicting their illegal behaviour on free people all over the world for a long long time to come.