Like most of us, Edward Snowden is against the abuse of power by the Obama administration in collecting phone records, emails, and internet records of millions of Americans indiscriminately. To be fair, I would not mind if they collected phone records or even listened to phone calls made by the likes of Tamerlan Tsarnaev—but they did not screen him from the mountain of data collected.
So it is foolish to argue these collected data are to be used to fight terrorism as Obama did when he said “…You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society…” For those who don’t care for the Fourth Amendment and agree with Obama, I’d like to invite them to go and live in China, Vietnam, Cuba or North Korea.
—Ron Paul on Obama administration’s spying on people “…The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing…”
—Michael Moore (yes, Michael Moore of all people) called Snowden “…hero of the year!”
—Ron Paul on Snowden “…When you have a dictatorship or an authoritarian government, truth becomes treasonous…” (How many times have we seen China or Vietnam arrested dissidents in their country with false accusations of treason? Recently, a popular blogger Truong Duy Nhat in Vietnam was arrested by the government because of “…abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state…” Abusing of democratic freedoms? All he did was writing what he thought of his government. And how can one abuse something that one does not have in the first place?)
However, people on this camp must come to realize that Snowden violated the law. And if one supports him…then what stops one from granting citizenship to all illegals in the country. The argument that illegals violated the law and must not be allowed to become citizens ahead of others who legally wait in queues suddently becomes invalid then.
On the other camp, there are those who argue that Edward Snowden should be arrested and convicted (of course).
—Diane Feinstein called Snowden’s action…an act of treason.
—Senator John Cornyn wanted to try Snowden for treason. This means death penalty if he is found guilty. He said “…he’s a traitor. He has leaked classified information about intelligence gathering techniques that the United States government has been involved in which have been authorized and overseen by the US government. I don’t know any other word to describe Mr. Snowden…”
—John Boehner called Snowden…a traitor. He said “…The disclosure of this information puts America at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it’s a giant violation of the law.…”
It is easy to make this call. And it is probably safer for politicians to make this call. However, one must consider what kind of secret information has Snowden released? Without Snowden, how many of us would have known how the government has been snooped into millions of phone records without a valid reason? Snowden also exposed Obama as a hypocrite for running campaign as anti-Bush while he continued the policy started under Bush and made it even worse. Transparent government was his promise. AP-gate, IRS-gate and now this NSA scandal…all have proven the 61 million Obama voters last November are so naïve.
What did Biden think on NSA collecting phone data?
In 2006, then Senator Joe Biden said regarding NSA monitoring people records…you have the president of the United States making a judgment that’s not reviewable by the courts and not reviewable by the Congress, and we’re supposed to say OK, and they tell us — it’s a little bit like what would happen if the banks turned over all your checking records, without your name, but gave the checking account number and every single purchase you made and pattern of your behavior — and then you were told, ‘Don’t worry, they — that’s not invasion of your privacy…
And he said…this idea that no court will review, no Congress will know and we’re going to trust the president and the vice president of the United States, that they’re doing the right thing, don’t count me in on that…
What do you think now, Joe?
One man’s opinion
Edward Snowden has not betrayed his country yet—hopefully, he will not seek asylum in Russia. Yes, he exposed his government. He exposed his president as a hypocrite (but he’s also helped Obama in taking the public attentions off the IRS scandal)
Edward Snowden has violated the law and should be arrested and tried—but not for treason.
What do you think?