I know that there are a lot of people out there who think Edward Snowden is a hero. They think that under the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” theory.
He’s a traitor who needs to be dealt with as a traitor.
A whistleblower doesn’t go to Red China and then the former Soviet Union to escape “persecution” in the United States. He first goes to the Inspector General of his agency and, then, if that doesn’t work, to the relevant committee in Congress.
If that doesn’t work, he goes to the media and allows himself to be arrested in public so the Feds cannot bury his existence.
Just because it is noble to be a whistleblower doesn’t mean it is without risk, and that’s part of the deal. Snowden apparently would like to believe in civil disobedience but not take any of the personal risks associated with it. How millennial. I question if he can even spell Thoreau and much less if he has actually read the essay.
In a perfect world, you should be able to trust that what your government is telling you happens to be true—that the metadata they are collecting will only be searched if the call is connected up to a bad guy after a judge issues a warrant.
The problem is that nobody trusts the Federal Government to a) tell the truth and; b) not use the data in all sorts of unauthorized ways that would have the effect of taking our rights from us.
It is a sad commentary on the point where we have come to and why, where government is concerned, that which governs least governs best.
All of that said, our modern telecommunications systems are a virtual playground for people who would use them to harm us, both as a nation and individually; and the chances that they will be used in that manner are quite high. Despite our near universal distrust for the Government, it would be governmental malpractice to ignore the possibility.
What to do?
We need to elect public officials who will a) restore our trust in the Government , and; b) come down hard on individuals and agencies who abuse the information.
That, I can assure you, does not describe the current administration.
A good start would be throwing everybody at the Internal Revenue Service who participated in last year’s scandal into prison.
The sad situation is that until we can trust our government not to abuse the information it probably needs to keep us safe, we can’t trust them with the information.
Think about it.
Do you trust Eric Holder to prosecute those who would abuse that information? Do you trust his Department of so-called Justice to prosecute the very people who have not yet even been charged (and in all probability will never be charged) in the IRS scandals?
However, all of that distrust doesn’t make Snowden a hero.
Frankly, I’d like some insight into how a little flake like Snowden could get access to our most secret programs.
Or, to put it another way, would you trust a creep like Snowden with that information any more than the NSA? Or Barack Obama?
I don’t think so.
The truth is that Snowden didn’t really tell us anything new. Most tech savvy people know that the capability was there because Google, Apple, and Microsoft have it. Not to mention Citicorp, Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo. It’s just that we seem to trust those guys a hell of a lot more than we trust our Government. Which is really scary.
If you want to clean this up, Edward Snowden is not your guy.
He should be in prison along with the clowns from the IRS.