Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Patriot, or traitor?

Depends on your point of view:

Our founding fathers, had things gone the other way, would have been tried and convicted as traitors, and we'd never have heard of them...they'd be, at best, a footnote in history.

So it is with Edward Snowden.
" For him, it is a matter of principle. "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to."

He outed a great conspiracy by the government against the citizens. Sadly, it wasn't outed by our domestic news media, but rather by the Guardian, a UK based newspaper.

But either way, it took a LOT of guts to do what he did. He violated a whole slew of secrecy orders, revealing information that was dubbed "secret" or better. At the least, he could be charged under the "espionage act", even though he has not given military secrets to an enemy....or has he, by giving it to the citizens?

Now the existence of these programs wasn't really a secret to anyone who was paying attention over the past 10 or 15 years. Most of us in the conservative half of the population had heard at least some details about Carnivore and Echelon and other programs you never heard about (but existed in some form) designed to spy on the citizens of the United States, and we all had, if we were paying attention at all, heard about the great many abuses of the "Patriot Act" by government officials using it as an excuse for investigations into many citizens lives, used WAAAAY outside the scope of intent. Prizm? No real surprises, were there?

But really, Snowden didn't do more than confirm what many of us already knew.

I have said for years that you should put nothing on the internet, in an email or say anything on ANY phone that you didn't want overheard. Never take your cell phone anywhere you don't want to be tracked. (if you do, then TAKE THE BATTERIES OUT OF THE DEVICE!).

Now we know that all of us who were looked at askance, were, at least in some form, correct.

The government IS watching. They don't trust you, and they see everyone, every citizen, as a traitor and a suspect.Guilty until proven innocent. They take your data and wait to use it against you.

and, if you piss them of enough, they will.

But again, I ask you:
Traitor or Patriot?

Did Mr Snowden betray his government (and therefore, the Citizens of the US?) or did he out a surveillance program which is, if not unconstitutional and illegal, at least plain wrong and immoral?

Yes, he broke the law. But in doing a wrong, did he do a right? Other than getting the federal government to give his life a thorough examination and possibly face jail time, did his wistleblowing accomplish anything? Did he make you and I safer, or did he harm the security of the government's ability to track and find and stop potential terrorists?

I say, It matters little if he DID harm the investigators ability to work in the shadows. If we can't win by playing within the rules established by the Constitution, then we deserve to lose.

I don't know Mr. Edward Snowden. And while many in this country may think he has done wrong, I think that he did right by outing these programs.

I'd like to buy him a drink, and shake his hand.

He's facing a LOT of shit and it is going to land on him HARD. But what he did took guts and honor.

I wonder how long until we find out something nasty about him....his history of drinking to excess....or the fact that he is a wanted child molester, or he sevretly has a gay lifestyle or something equally shaming.....Those government folks can be vindictive, you know. 

I only hope his actions were not in vain, and that this reverses the mindset of our government and that this sort of thing stops. I fear, however, that it won't.


Karl said...

I was on the fence with this guy. Patriot or traitor?

Then I heard which label the Speaker of the House chose.

Now I know my answer.

Old NFO said...

There was a legal and ethical way he could have done this, but he chose not to, so traitor... And the Chinese probably have him now and I don't think they're giving him all the steak and ice cream he wants...

B said...

What would you have had him do?

Other people tried to out the information, and were ignored. Even by domestic media.

This way, he got the information to the people.

I seriously would like to know what you think he should have done, what steps he should have taken, in order to be "legal and ethical".

Old NFO said...

B- There IS a way to actually blow the whistle on stuff like this, and they exist within the classified world. I'm not going to go into details, but it has been done in the past by others, successfully!

Anthony Schaffer for one did it.

B said...

I stand corrected then.

However, I have to wonder if your way would have worked.

Others tried, and got nowhere.

However, I trust that you know more than me.

I do think that intent matters here. And he DID do good.