Friday, June 14, 2013

Edward Snowden - traitor or hero?

Edward Snowden and his girlfriend, the pole dancer.

Edward Snowden - traitor or whistleblower hero?  I don't think at this point we can determine whether he is either one.  

He has definitely let the proverbial 'cat out of the bag.'  The government was in violation of the fourth and twelfth amendments of the U.S. Constitution in collecting so much phone and internet data on millions of Americans.  

Apparently, Snowden had a crisis of conscience and decided to leak this information to two newspapers, The Guardian and The Washington Post.  He just didn't feel he could live with doing his job and the American people not knowing the government surveillance that was going on without their knowledge.

Should he have revealed or leaked this information?   For one, I am glad to now know my government is doing this.  I am glad he leaked this so I know what is really going on here in America.  Can we have freedom and security here in the U.S. if this is the type of surveillance it takes to keep us safe?  I don't know.

On the other hand, has he compromised the United States in the eyes of her enemies, who are now aware our government is doing this and can take precautions?   I don't know.  

This is not such an open and shut case like the Watergate scandal was.  Woodward and Bernstein were heroes for cracking  Nixon's  scandal.  The right of Americans to know what their president was really doing behind their backs - a shady burglary of the Democratic National Headquarters seems so quaint and silly in today's world.  

This Snowden scandal is a tough ethical question and I guess we are going to have to see how this plays out before a judgment can be passed on Edward Snowden.

Snowden comes across to me as a 'kid' - evidence that I am growing older now.  He appears to me to be misguided in his attempts to alert the world to what our government is doing.  Yes, we definitely have to have a public discussion or discourse on this topic.  I agree with him there.  

I think this surveillance information needed to come out, I'm just not sure how Snowden should have done it though.  Many in government say there are systems already in place for whistleblowers to use to reveal hidden information.  But, could Snowden really trust those systems or avenues?  Perhaps he felt they were just as corrupt as the government was in its surveillance.  

I also, don't care for Obama's nonchalance and cavalier attitude toward these leaks.  His attitude is 'well, we were doing this in secret and violating the U.S. Constitution, but now that it's out we should have a discourse about it.'  There is no embarrassment or remorse that he has been violating the constitution.  I don't understand his cavalier attitude - it is all right to have done this in the name of national security?  This incident has raised more questions than it is answering.

No, I don't want another terrorist attack like 9/11 ever again.  But, I don't want millions upon millions of Americans' phone records confiscated either.

Can't we find a happy medium in this world?  It seems in the Boston Marathon terrorist attack we weren't surveilling the right phone calls anyway.  We dropped the ball on that one.  We even had the Russians telling us about the older brother's phone calls and acquainting himself with terrorist organizations, but were weren't able to stop the two brothers and their attacks.  

I don't know what the answer is anymore and I don't know what to think of Edward Snowden yet.  Perhaps time will tell.

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved