Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edward Snowden - Patriot

By now everyone on the planet has heard of Edward Snowden, and almost everyone has an opinion of him. There is also an abundance of opinions concerning his actions in releasing the cold, hard facts about the United States covert intelligence programs he has outlined.

It seems; and this should come as no surprise to anyone; that the United States Government; the people we employ; have been spying on us. From e-mails to phone calls, your private thoughts and messages have been; and are now; being scanned by someone at NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland. 24/7 there is someone watching and reading the internet. There’s lots of talk about only using “keywords” to read the millions of messages sent daily, but I think we all know that’s a crock.

So, now Mr. Snowden is in hiding. This morning he disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong, which has an extradition treaty with the United States. I hope he left on his own. He cannot go to China, as we have some financial issues with that nation; which make Mr. Snowden a valuable bargaining chip for both sides; yet there is virtually no country which will have him at this point. And more importantly, even if there were someplace he could go, there is no way for him to get there. Remember, too, that there is no way for him to profit from this venture.

This brings us to an interesting juncture which has been in the news lately. Is it alright to use a drone on an American citizen abroad; as we have done in the past; when that citizen has violated some law, as Mr. Snowden has done? My own belief is that there is a vast difference between targeting an American-Taliban, fighting against our own troops, and someone like Mr. Snowden.

Recall that Mr. Snowden has, in his possession, further information which he has refused to release due to the danger it would pose to both National Security, as well as our troops on the ground. He is not a zealot; he is an individual taking a principled stand. Much like the whistleblower, Mr. Snowden has probably thrown his life in the trash for you and me.

Personally, I don’t care if someone is reading my e-mails; I feel sorry for them. But the point is larger than that. Much like in George Orwell’s “1984” we have come to live in a society where truth is fiction and fiction is truth. In my book, that’s a lie. Mr. Snowden has done nothing but try to make us all aware of that fact. And in my book, that makes him a hero, as well as a Patriot.

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