The Fourth of July is not a special day for me. Is it I because I read “What To the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass once too many times? Regardless of you treat the day as an opportunity to wave the flag and fire up the grill or just another holiday without any particular significance, you’re still probably have a better time today than Edward Snowden will, as he remains holed up at a airport terminal in Russia disparately seeking sanctuary from almost any country (and finding few takers).
Snowden is the former National Security Agency contractor who ran to The Guardian newspaper last month to expose all the dirty secrets of the government’s foreign and domestic surveillance program and has been on the lam ever since.
I was hardly alone in standing back and watch other liberals lionize Snowden as a modern-day Daniel Ellsberg. Hell, Daniel Ellsberg even auded Snowden as his successor.
But Snowden did something Ellsberg didn’t do. He ran. Instead of facing the music he lit out to avoid arrest and prosecution. It had to make even Snowden’s supporters a little queasy when their hero went from Hong Kong to China and wound up stuck in an Moscow airport of Vladmir Putin’s Russia, which if it isn’t quite the enemy of the United States it once was neither are the former enemies now trusted friends. Putin has declared Russia will not extradite Snowden back to face American justice, but it refuses to grant Snowden political asylum.
Snowden’s many friends on the Left see the hand of the U.S. government in Snowden’s difficulties of finding a new home in another country.
“The US attempts to pressure governments to block Snowden’s attempts to seek asylum are deplorable. It is his unassailable right, enshrined in international law, to claim asylum and this should not be impeded,” said Michael Bochenek, Director of Law and Policy at Amnesty International.
Others want Snowden tracked down and thrown in a cell as soon as possible due to the almost certainty he still is in possession of highly sensitive information that both the Chinese and Russians are all too happy to have whether Snowden actually gives it to them of his own volition.
Snowden is reportedly carrying four laptop computers loaded with top-secret U.S. intelligence documents. No doubt the spy agencies in the countries he is visiting have been feasting on the reams of classified information in his possession.
Think that China failed to access every single one of the files on Snowden’s computers during his month-long stay in Hong Kong before letting him escape to Russia? Not a chance. Snowden publicly confirmed that he possessed top-secret intelligence on America’s espionage against China. Beijing was not letting him leave without getting every last byte of it.
Even if Snowden did not intentionally cooperate, the People’s Liberation Army has one of the most sophisticated cyber-hacking operations in the world. PLA hackers have broken into U.S. Defense Department computers and stolen the designs for more than two dozen major weapons systems. Think they can’t hack four laptops sitting in a hotel room in sovereign Chinese territory? Whatever Snowden had in his possession when he entered Hong Kong is now in the possession of Chinese intelligence.
Now, it’s Russia’s turn. Snowden has been in the “transit area” of the Moscow airport for more than a week. As with China, he has publicly confirmed that he has top-secret documents detailing U.S. cyber-espionage against Moscow.
Snowden is a fool at best, a traitor at worse and under no circumstances a hero. The Left does itself a disservice when it wraps in its embrace every rogue and renegade nursing a grudge or passing themselves off as a hero righting wrongs. While I will never suggest holding the government accountable is a bad thing deliberately hurting America is another matter entirely. It’s disturbing how so many lapplauding Snowden’s actions blow off the possibility he may have actually done more harm than good.
Snowden may have convinced others he believes in the principles of this nation so much he had to expose the wrongs being done in their name, but globe hopping ans seeking shelter from his country does not seem to me to be an act someone who truly believes in the American principles Snowden protests he is protecting.
There must be limits placed upon what kind and how much information the government can have about its own citizens. I am not willing to open up everything I say, everything I read, every conservation I have for some bureaucrat in Washington to decide whether it poses a threat. I support the president, but I don’t completely trust Barack Obama or any president to place protecting my privacy over the security of the country.
Neither do I put blind faith in weird freaks with messiah complexes like Ed Snowden.
If he’s the patriot he imagines himself to be, he should come back to the U.S. and surrender himself as he would have little problem enlisting top-rate legal talent to defend him from the Obama Administration charging him with espionage. What better way to solidify the hero-worship of Snowden than becoming a martyr if convicted and a far Left icon if he pins Obama’s ears back with an acquittal.
If Snowden wants to confirm he’s the traitorous little punk I believe him to be, stay holed up at the terminal in Russia and do nothing.
Happy Independence Day, Eddie. Keep running and looking over your shoulder. You are a man without a country because you betrayed a sworn oath and nobody really trusts you. The list of countries disinterested in granting him asylum continues to grow as Snowden is learning just how small the world really is.
You never know if that big buzzing sound overhead is a drone or just a really angry bird until their respective payloads land on your head. Protect ya neck, Ed.
- Snowden’s search for asylum is fruitless so far (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Snowden Retracts Russian Asylum Request as Refuge Options Narrow (bloomberg.com)
- Bolivian President’s plane diverted over suspicion Snowden on board (techcentral.ie)
- Capehart: Edward Snowden is no Daniel Ellsberg (denverpost.com)