Traitor or Patriot
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Whether Edward Snowden is a traitor or a patriot will never have a definitive answer. At least -- that is my opinion.
No matter what happens from here on in, some will declare him a traitor and others a patriot. It is the way of things.
I found it a bit disconcerting, to say the least, that he was supposedly laying bare secrets many of us had known from as far back as around 2006.
Heck, I thought everyone already knew the NSA was grabbing and storing
all that data on us. I just assumed they were filing every little jot
and tittle of my e-mails away in some NSA dungeon somewhere for safe
keeping in case I should ever get out of hand, so to speak.
Today, Snowden has set the world on fire spilling non-secret secrets. How is that possible? It just seems strange to me.
Snowden a spy? I don’t think so. I have no more information than
anyone else living here in my swamp, but the feeling I have is that IF
he is a spy, then he would be an “accidental spy” meaning that I don’t
think he began by intending to spy on his country for a foreign power.
That would make no difference in a court of law – nor should it.
you can clearly see, I am torn. I am grateful that the curtain has been
drawn back and now we can know, for sure, that our government IS spying
on us. I am not happy about he manner in which that was achieved.
my family a tattletale was frowned upon. I mean -- SERIOUSLY! It was
considered dishonorable. It was considered so bad that if myself, or
one of my siblings, told on the other, the one telling to the parent was
the sibling punished. It was considered THAT dishonorable.
A whistle-blower IS a tattletale.
too, I am concerned that a man of Mr. Snowden’s youth, education, and
worldly experience could get so close to official secrets of the
nation. Seems to me that that, in itself, is a threat to national
security. How did that happen? Maybe there is something to the books
we’ve read, and the movies we have seen, in which the government hires
overly adventurous computer experts and hackers to work for various
clandestine agencies of the government -- or go to jail. Maybe that’s
the over-reaching of my overactive imagination, but it DOES make one
Ofttimes one can get a measure of the accuracy of a
"whistle-blowers" report by the effort put forth by the agency having
the light shone upon them to diminish the person blowing the whistle.
There DOES seem to be a discernible effort by the US to do just that.
That, too, gives me pause and causes me to wonder.
denies being a spy for China. But it is not quite clear why, exactly, he
fled to Hong Kong, of all places, and chose to surface there. Hong
Kong, does, in fact, belong to China, once again, after the British gave
it back a few years ago.
You know, there is a chance that Mr.
Snowden is everything he says he is. It is entirely possible that he is
motivated by love of country. Multiculturalism has so infected us now
that we have difficulty recognizing real patriotism when it smacks us
right between the eyes. Even my words here are strewn with doubt.
the final outcome of all this, methinks it would be a grand idea to
have a thorough investigation of all our national security agencies to
determine if they are spying ONLY on those they are legally allowed to
spy upon, and, we need to look carefully at the thousands of government
"contractors" working for those agencies to learn how they get to be
government contractors in the first place. How, and to what degree, are
they vetted? What are the educational requirements and the work
experience required for employment as a government contractor in ANY of
the US national security agencies?
And finally we, the American
people, need to lean on Congress and tell them, in no uncertain terms,
that we do not approve of the spying on US citizens in any program such
as that called "Prism" or any other such program that eavesdrops on the
lives of American citizens. Let them know that we take the Fourth
Amendment to the US Constitution very seriously and we expect the
government to adhere to it one hundred percent.
In the end, it
may turn out that whether Mr. Snowden is a traitor or a patriot will
make no difference and, in fact be of little importance. If nothing
else, his actions have brought all this out into the light of day and
ignited a national and an international conversation about governments
spying on their own citizens. There can be no doubt this confab was way
overdue, especially in the US.
like to see, although I don't expect it, the "Prism" program shut down
and the huge data storage center in Utah shut down and padlocked or even
sold to a private company in any kind of business except the
intelligence business. I'd also like to see the Patriot Act repealed as
well as the NDAA, which establishes funding levels for the various
agencies in charge of our national defense.
There MUST be a
better way! Surely we have learned people at the highest levels of our
government who can formulate a superior method of gathering intelligence
and paying for the expense involved.
Most importantly, the US
government must recognize that it cannot continue to violate the
constitutional rights of its citizens. There are consequences to both
the government and its citizens for the government's continued
usurpation of powers.
It must stop -- and it WILL -- one way or another.
© J. D. Longstreet