Let’s start with this. Edward Snowden is a traitor who should hang for his treason.
He is no hero. He is a man whom the United States entrusted with its secrets. Instead of keeping those secrets, he revealed them and then sought to evade the consequences, fleeing to Communist China, where he may yet deliver more secrets to a nation that, while not exactly an outright enemy, is deeply antagonistic to our interests and our way of life.
Snowden, while he may well feel personal outrage about the government’s monitoring of telephone records and Internet data, by his own admission had a predilection for betraying the United States before he caught on to these programs.
Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian, to whom Snowden has been leaking, wrote that Snowden “thought for the first time about exposing government secrets” way back in 2007, when U.S. agents recruited a Swiss banker, setting him up by “purposely” getting him drunk.
Now who would have thought a spy agency would ever do such a thing?
Snowden was outraged, but he apparently thought the election of Barack Obama, Blessed be his Name, would induce the CIA to stop getting Swiss bankers drunk.
When he discovered that Obama has at least some moorings in the real world, Edward found another secret to betray.
His putatively brave decision to reveal himself would seem to have actually resulted from the prosaic fact that the cops were on to him, having already visited his former Hawaii abode. His coming out lends no possible to benefit to his supposed cause of getting Big Brother off our backs; rather, it’s a distraction.
Having the spotlight on him does, however, make it more problematic for U.S. agents to put some sleeping potion in his Chinese takeout and whisk him back the United States. It also, of course, feeds his ego, which must be very large given the audacity of his crime.
And he’s very clearly telegraphed to the nation he supposedly cares so much about that he had access to many more secrets than he has released and that he’s technically in China and, holed up in his Hong Kong hotel, he’s just a taxicab drive away from being totally within the grip of the Politburo.
There is ambivalence in the land about the information Snowden has sent our way.
On the one hand, many are uncomfortable the government perusing so much of our information. Particularly this government.
President Obama and his fully politicized White House have shown their contempt for the Constitution, the rule of law, the other branches of government and the watchdog institutions of our society time and time again.
In Obamaland, laws are meant to be circumvented. The Supreme Court is to be vilified for making the “wrong” decisions. The press is to be bullied and intimidated. Opponents in Congress are cynical, politically motivated extremists who want to oppress Americans they don’t like.
The scandals that have been erupting didn’t come out of a black hole. Even if no one in the White House ordered the IRS to get busy smacking down the Tea Party, its agents knew what would please their masters.
On the other hand, many would agree with Obama when he said, “I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.”
Some of the very same people who are attacking Obama for amassing our data will be demanding to know after the next major terrorist attack “why didn’t you connect the dots??” But how do you connect the dots if you are not permitted to see them?
While Obama has undermined the very trust needed to conduct such intrusions into our privacy, he remains, after all is said and done, the president.
Everything one needed to know about the way the Obama White House operates was known last November. The American people took a look and reelected Obama.
We are a nation of laws and a representative democracy, not a direct democracy. One may think the White House needs a new paint job, but that doesn’t mean one can jump the fence and get started on the project.
Edward Snowden is no whistleblower. Whistleblowers expose illegal or clearly unethical behavior. The appropriateness of the telephone and Internet monitoring is being debated by reasonable people.
Snowden is a guy who exposed perfectly legal programs that were subject to oversight by both the judiciary and Congress. In doing so, he has given out secrets to our enemies in the war on terrorism. They now will have new knowledge about how to avoid detection and kill more Americans.
He made a unilateral decision about what was right. But the law, written and interpreted by democratically elected officials, says he was wrong. And so he committed what’s known as a crime.
He is a coward who instead of paying for his crime and standing by his “principles” made his getaway to Hong Kong, where he is hoping the corrupt and repressive Chinese government will save him.
Hopefully we can retrieve him from his hideout, scrub his laptop, and hang him.