Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Lonsome Ballad Of Edward Snowden

     Edward Snowden, the man without a country or a conscience, who gained world wide recognition for revealing to what extent the National Security Administration under Barack Obama was gathering data on every American citizen, finds himself stuck at a Moscow airport looking for a ride to anywhere but his homeland of the United States of America. Edward Snowden was clearly in the wrong, not for revealing the liberty gobbling NSA program that minds data for, who knows what purpose, but for the process he used to expose it.
      There were many options open to Edward Snowden, a list that should not have included abandoning his country. Mr. Snowden should have first taken his concerns to the Inspector General assigned to oversee the National Security Administration. If his concerns were not addressed by the Inspector General, Mr. Snowden could have written a letter to every member of both the House and Senate Intelligence committees. After allowing sufficient time for the members to act on the information, and without them having done so, Edward Snowden could have approached members of Congress that he may have considered friendly to his cause, like Rand Paul.
     After all possibilities were exhausted within the chain of government command, Mr. Snowden, feeling that his cause was still just and the consequences were worthy of that cause, could have gone to what he considered a balanced news outlet in the U.S. and exposed the program. This option would have required the courage on Mr. Snowden's part to stand and face any and all legal consequences for his loose lips. But Mr. Snowden did not choose to be courageous, instead opting for starting a firestorm and then hiding in Russia, which is not exactly a friend to the United States, and seeking asylum in, among other countries, Venezuela, which is as close to an enemy of the U.S. as a nation can come without publicly declaring so.
     Edward Snowden's sin, then, was not in the exposing of a government snooping program that the administration, with the help of some misguided individuals on the right, has vigorously defended. A program that stretched, if not exceeded, the limits of even the liberty-challenged Patriot Act. The Snowden sin was not even that he did not implement a remedy of proper protocol. No, Edward Snowden's sin was a simple case of cowardice. His convictions, what little may have existed, were made to stand naked against the cold winds of consequences without even the thinnest cloak of courage to sustain them.

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