I’ve wrestled for a while now with the Ed Snowden situation, trying to decide whether I think he is a patriot or a traitor. I’ve waited patiently for much of the hysteria to dissipate and watched Brian Williams’ recent interview with Snowden very intently. Prior to the interview I was leaning toward the patriot side and the interview only strengthened that view.
I like to think I’m a half-decent judge of character, and I find Snowden to be very intelligent and genuine, and I believe he was doing what he thought was the right thing for his country by helping to rein in some of the current over-reaching abuse of our government’s power. Did he break the law and the vow he took to protect the secrets afforded by his security clearance? Absolutely. But I reached the conclusion long ago that principles are more important than a strict adherence to laws, and that feeling has been solidified as I watch our legally corrupt US government pass laws allowing them to get rich off corporate lobbyists while completely ignoring the desires of their constituents. In addition, I believe our judicial system has gotten so wrapped around the axle with technicalities that it bears very little resemblance to what most reasonable people believe to be a system for deciding simple right and wrong, following basic common sense. Snowden said he feels there is currently a serious lack of respect by our government for the public. Unfortunately I completely agree with him. Many want Ed Snowden to go to jail for what he did. I ask who is going to jail for the illegal activities of the NSA?
Not that long ago Thomas Jefferson said that the strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. A lot has changed since then and I certainly don’t believe we are anywhere close to a violent revolution in this country, but the sentiment speaks for itself, loud and clear. And if history has taught us one thing, it is that blindly following your government with the expectation they will always keep your best interests front and center is fraught with disaster.
So who is the bigger patriot, the person who breaks the law to reveal unconstitutional government operations, risking personal ruin for what he believes is best for his country, or the lawmaker who ignores his people, making decisions based only on what will make him the most money? And if you don’t think the latter is happening, you’re simply not paying attention.
That’s just my opinion. I think we still have freedom of speech.