Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

When the story broke with regards to the NSA’s –our very own government—spying on U.S. citizens in a sweeping --not to mention illegal-- over-stepping of their original mandate as dictated the USA Patriot Act, I wanted to keep the focus on the important issue:  the gross violation of our constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy as U.S. citizens.  While this issue, and more specifically obtaining satisfactory answers and accountability moving forward from our government officials responsible remains foremost in my thoughts: I have since had time to give some thought to the man who broke this story … A man without whom we would not even know that we needed to be having the latter discussion:  Edward Snowden. 

I’ve heard both sides of the arguments for and against Edward Snowden in the days and weeks that have followed the breaking of this historic news story and I can’t help but notice that more often than not people both for and against Snowden seem to have a need to pre-suppose that they understand Snowden’s motivations for violating his security agreement with the U.S. government in the first place. Then based upon these suppositions they draw their conclusion as to whether or not Edward Snowden should be labeled with the title “hero” or “traitor.” 

Personally, I think that the most unbiased, truthful method for evaluating Snowden's actions lies in removing Snowden’s motivations from the equation all-together.  Regardless of his motivations, Edward Snowden was witness to a gross and on-going violation of the constitutionally binding agreement between an agency acting on behalf of the U.S. government and the people of the United States, a violation that went up to the highest levels.  Do you honestly think that a mere analyst voicing his concerns about these violations by following the ‘chain of command’ would ever have successfully resulted in any meaningful correction of the constitutionally flawed NSA policies?  If you do, then you must be living in fantasy-land, happily sipping the widely available Kool-aide these days … proud proponents of maintaining the status quo. 

The way I see it, Edward Snowden put his very way of life on the line when he stepped up to the plate and found the courage to be the lone voice of reason in a world gone (blanking) mad.  Does that make him a hero?  Maybe so, but whatever you choose to call Edward Snowden I will be forever grateful for his courage and it is my sincere hope that he does not lose faith in the merits of his actions, that he remains true to the United States and its citizens, and that the government of a decent country will find the courage to grant him asylum.

8/2/2013  Think in today's crazy world maybe justice moves in mysterious ways?  Strange times call for strange --unexpected-- measures.  Regardless, I am sincerely happy for Edward Snowden ... pleased he was finally granted asylum and by Russia of all countries.  Who would have thought such an outcome would have been possible several weeks back?  The ancient Arabic proverb "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is echoing through my mind as I type here.


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