Edward Snowden spilled the beans to Brian Williams to great ratings. However, he didn’t say much new and that’s consistent with his new career as IT guy cum spy. I like Brian, I really do. What’s not to like? He’s a former firefighter and h Allison Williams’ (Marnie from Girls) Dad. However, his interview only revealed two interesting things: Snowden watches a lot of The Wire reruns and he’s allegedly a spy. But c’mon, revelations?
Spying? ‘I am SHOCKED! SHOCKED I say’
However you feel about sparking a wider national debate, Snowden really had no need to pilfer 1.7 million documents to make his point. Harboring the illusion that the government wasn’t spying on Americans is a little like saying, “I’m SHOCKED! SHOCKED I say,” when the sun rises in the east every morning. Of course they’re spying. What did Americans think they’d do when they pusillanimously whined to protect them from the astronomical unlikelihood of a cave-dwelling, amateur videographer attack?
Simply put, Snowden broke a passel of laws and parts of his story smell like a rancid tilapia fillet. First, he’s hiding in that bastion of freedom Putinavania with no visible way to pay his HBO bill for The Wire. He’s still hoarding most of his 1.7 million document booty for God knows what. His U.S. Passport is in his pocket, at least as a souvenir.
If you believe his recent James Bond claims, he was complicit in the same illegal behavior he decries. By all accounts, he also wasn’t choosy about his revelations and there’s no way to know the damage he may have caused. Plus, he could’ve gotten his story out without releasing any documents. True, he had good reason to fear the NSA, but a quick call to Darrell Issa would’ve done the trick and Darrell would have him protected on permanent subpoena, living it up in the East Wing of the Capitol.
In fact, everyone missed the biggest teachable moment. A bipartisan fervor is worse than gridlock sometimes and the Unpatriotic Act is a perfect example. Yes, Our
American Kenyan Cousin has expanded it significantly, but it wasn’t his brainless child. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, that would be former Emperor-in-Chief, Cattleless Hat and his cowardly, nearly unanimous ranch hands.
The Orwellian Act, in name and deed, merely opened Pandora’s box. Sure, its reach has grown like wildfire since September 12th 2001, but so has technology. That is hard to attribute to a single administration’s policy instead of Chapter 207 in the Presidents’ Book of Secrets. It’s likely our government planned it from Day 1. It is not the only Bushian tick the Change and Hopester stuck with, but it is one of the most damaging.
No, the real lesson here is the ongoing strain between liberty and the necessity for American spies and secrets. The problem with the power of secrecy is that it grows uncontrollably when no one is monitoring the listening post. We need oversight to protect national security needs and unwarranted intrusion into sexts to ex-girlfriends. Even hermetically sealed jars leak when a treasonous bastard inevitably dashes them on the server room floor.
But who to trust? Clearly we can’t trust the spies and I can readily understand why we can’t trust Louie Gohmert with a secret…he still thinks evolution is a secret Obama plot. Laws are a start, but when they begin with an open invitation, you can expect the bad guys to walk in — no stand-your-ground law to protect the secrets either.
Swiping School Lunches for Spies Like Snowden
Americans can’t withhold funding, which even those hell-bent on swiping school lunches will try. Funding is a budgetary line item that vetoes everything else. Something is wrong when even the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t have a need to know. Whether you think he’s a Kenyan pretender or not, that’s the job for which we hired him. Breaking his oath, just as Snowden broke his, is grounds for impeachment. A Tea Party-unapproved health insurance bill isn’t.
It’s clear Snowden committed treason under the law and is hiding out of reach like the Great Train Robber. It doesn’t matter whether he thinks he’s a heroic spy or watches The Wire incessantly. We are — and I’m saying this without the Republicans’ missing sense of irony — a nation of laws. He and we should follow them.
Our domestic spying laws must change if we are going to lay claim to being the land of the free and home of the brave. If we need to repeal anything and keep the government out of personal affairs domestic spying is, hand’s down, more important than uselessly trying to repeal the ACA or drink a non-fat latte at Starbucks with an AR-15 slung around your neck.
It’s doubtful there is the political or moral will to do that now that the cat is out of the bag, but one can hope. And if that day ever comes we’ll need some way to keep the new American order checked and balanced as the Constitution requires. There’s no dispute that discussion is overdue, but there’s plenty of time to start now while we’re up to our ass in wiretapped alligators. We must be ready when the time comes.
No matter that it was accidental, but let’s follow through on Snowden’s only heroic contribution. Let’s turn his treason into a teaching moment to protect us all from treasons now and still to come.
- What Did We Learn from NBC’s Interview with Edward Snowden? Treason or Patriotism? (sethconnell7.wordpress.com)
- Edward Snowden to Brian Williams: Sometimes to do the Right Thing, You Have to Break the Law (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- The 13 Most Bizarre Things from Edward Snowden’s NBC News Interview (thedailybanter.com)
- What Brian Williams Should Have Asked Snowden (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Man-up and come home: John Kerry to Edward Snowden (vancouverdesi.com)
- NSA to Release Email From Snowden: Did Not Report Abuse or Wrongdoing (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Snowden, Brian Williams: staged amateur night for suckers, by Jon Rappoport, May 30, 2014 (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- One year after Snowden drops NSA bomb, UK citizens demand more privacy (EndtheLie.com)
- Glenn Greenwald on Snowden’s Latest Revelations (thetakeaway.org)
- Feinstein: Snowden never voiced NSA concerns (sfgate.com)