Where is Snowden? Hong Kong? Russia? Cuba? Ecuador? Where did he go? Why is he there? Where will he go next? What countries might give him political asylum? Or will he be extradited or simply taken out by drone strike like four other American citizens that went before him? Is he a traitor? Should he have just had the courage to stay in the United States and face trial? How likely would a fair trial have been?
And what about The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald? Could he be prosecuted for “aiding and abetting” Snowden as suggested by some? Could he be considered complicit in all of this? If so, does that mean any investigative journalist could suddenly find him or herself in the crosshairs of – and gone after by – the government?
The above questions just about sum up all that is currently being discussed in the mainstream media. The spotlight has been conveniently turned on Snowden and what he did rather than what he exposed the government has been doing. It is a very clever move by whoever the corporate media get their orders from, but we should not stand for it. The debate has been successfully turned on its head; with people tripping over each other arguing about whether Snowden should have obeyed the law even if it went against his conscience and sense of morality. All I will say about that here is that he swore an oath to uphold the U.S. constitution and defend it from enemies foreign and domestic. Spying on citizens is obviously unconstitutional and it is exactly what the British were doing to Americans that eventually – among other things – led to the American Revolution. So if he is indeed a traitor the question is: to whom? To the people or to the government?
While the media talking heads are babbling about the relatively insignificant details of Snowden’s whereabouts, the tough questions that need to be asked of the government – both the U.S. and many other governments as pointed out in my last blog entry – are being ignored. The main issue is that, wherever you live, you are being spied on. Unlike Snowden, the Obama administration and all Senate and Congress members have no qualms about continually trampling on your civil liberties for a living, and have you pay for it. So let’s get this straight: Edward Snowden is the NSA whistleblower, not a “leaker”. Leakers need diapers, whistleblowers need protection. Unfortunately the U.S. and other governments, despite all of the rhetoric, are not in the business of protecting you. They are in the business of protecting themselves and their friends while leeching off of people like you and me.
There are those, of course, who say there is no need to worry if you have nothing to hide. To which one might respond by asking: do you live in a glass house? Do you shut or lock the bathroom door before taking a shower or using the bathroom? Do you habitually talk to complete strangers about your sex life or your relational or health issues? You said you’ve got nothing to hide? Then you shouldn’t have to worry, right? Who cares if complete strangers know all the intimate details of your life? It’s for your protection!
Besides, if you live in the United States you only commit an average of three felonies a day thanks to the ever-increasing number of federal criminal laws and their broad and vague nature. The truth is the line “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” applies to everyone, all the time. Perhaps it would be appropriate to have children across the planet repeat this line in school every day before classes start. Just as a heads-up, just to be fair. To let them know that Big Brother is watching you and you will want to make sure you stay in his good graces.