June 20th, 2016
Mr. Edward Snowden revealing’s have been greatly beneficial to Democracy in general and particularly to the international community in order to understand the true nature of the “NSA beast.” A surveillance organization which has the intent as Snowden told Glenn Greenwald “on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them.”
The US government, in its attempts to silence Mr. Snowden was ready to charge him with 1918-style espionage offenses. In doing so the US Government shows its true nature to the world and above all ignores amendment IV of the constitution.
The outdated WWI espionage laws make no distinction between revealing information that is harmful to the public good and that which is beneficial meaning that Mr. Snowden is not able to defend himself after his revelations about the horrendous overreach of the NSA and other agencies. The information Snowden has been revealing is in the “beneficial” category.
For clarity amendment IV,
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In our age of increasing cyber-attacks and data breaches, privacy is of the utmost importance and causes great concerns since we must be assured that whatever data the government is holding, however minimal or appropriate, must remain secure.
There needs to be a debate about establishing limits to the growing, wide-scale surveillance of the post-9/11 era. This debate was inevitable, necessary, and frankly, long overdue. I can only conclude the Patriot Act should be abolished and we own a deep sense of gratitude to Mr. Snowden we can never repay for showing us the dangers of the deplorable Government policies.
Well done and I hope that Edward Snowden can return safely to the United States without fear or intimidation by the federal government, although that is not very likely.
As Daniel Ellsberg the author of the “Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers” noted “there would have been zero chance that he would have been allowed out on bail if he had returned and close to no chance that, had he not left the country, he would have been granted bail, Instead he would be in a prison like Bradley Manning, incommunicado. He would almost certainly be confined to total isolation.”
A compromise allowing Mr. Snowden to re-join American society would be an act of real leadership.