Edward Snowden is a patriot

Today, I'm very proud of the ACLU.

I'm proud of ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero for having the courage to publicly pronounce Mr. Snowden a patriot while the administration that I otherwise love continues to vilify him and aggressively seek his extradition and prosecution.

Today, I'm even proud of my country.

It has not been so for many years now. For the last 33 years, America has been dominated by a profound state of fear.

That all-consuming fear has driven administrations to oppress and abuse any who disagreed... both foreign and domestic. That all-consuming fear has driven American business to levels of exploitation and corruption of law not seen in a hundred years. And that all-consuming fear has driven half of the American people to re-embrace racism and sexism; to arm themselves beyond all reason; to actively reject 50 years of making the world a better place in which to live.

I'm proud of my country today because, despite all that, despite the tremendous official and public vitriol towards Edward Snowden ... despite the historic condemnation by many of the ACLU's work ... Mr. Romero and the ACLU have the freedom to speak out without fear of retribution.

That cannot be said in much of the world.

That cannot be said in the world that half of this country wants to return us to.

As one of our most famous patriots once said, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Mr. Romero and the ACLU have chosen to "hang together" with Edward Snowden.

I couldn't be prouder.

1 comment :

DocSalvager said...

Many believe that, to be credible, Edward Snowden should not have fled to another country to avoid arrest.

Had he stayed in this country to "face the music," we'd probably never heard of Edward Snowden.

History is replete with examples of now-revered people who had to flee their country or otherwise protect themselves from capture in order to get the message out.

Legal Standing ...

The really debatable argument to me, is whether the benefit of these disclosures that now gives citizen groups the "legal standing" in court to challenge such programs outweighs the foreign-policy embarrassments. I think it does.

Organizations like the ACLU have been trying to bring actions in court for years but they keep getting thrown out before they can even be argued, because the plaintiffs couldn't prove they were being spied on. They thus couldn't argue they had been harmed since there was no available evidence that any spying had actually occurred. In fact, the government consistently, unequivocally denied it. The government blatantly lied to the courts, to the Congress, and to the American people in order to keep these programs secret.

I believe that will prove to be egregiously harmful to our country.

What kind of people are we? ...

9/11 killed about as many Americans as the attack on Pearl Harbor. At that time, many strongly believed in the complete destruction of Japan in retaliation for that attack. As such, the rebuilding of Japan following their capitulation was not widely publicized in this country until decades later. Had our leaders acquiesced to the public views and laid waste to Japan as The North did to The South after our Civil War and the West did to Germany after WWI, we would be a very different culture today.

Using personal incrimination to discredit a public good ...

To me, putting the focus on Snowden himself is a way of distracting the public from what is really important to our society... the disclosures.

And as for Snowden himself... I can't help but notice that we just buried someone who did far worse in his country and served 27 years in prison for it, but is now considered a world hero. Isn't this inconsistent?