I don't understand people. Everyone points at our government and shouts things like "Corrupt!" and "Unconstitutional!" and "Crooks!" But then, when someone actually takes steps to DO something about it, such as exposing authoritarian surveillance programs, many of those same people turn their back on him and say "Hey, how dare you betray those corrupt unconstitutional crooks I've been complainingabout my whole life!" Our country was founded by people who would have been hung from the rafters if they weren't successful in their campaign against the British. And those men never had the sort of gripes against their government that we do. I can not fathom the insanity of someone who would hail the Founders for the treason they committed against the crown, and then hail our government for the crimes it's committing against the very document those men risked everything to establish. Have we lost our damn minds? This isn't a difficult issue. It isn't controversial. It's easy. The government CAN NOT be allowed to do this sort of thing. I don't care how many times they shout about terrorists. Have we completely lost our backbone? Have we entirely forfeited any notion of assuming even the slightest risk for the sake of liberty?
I've seen plenty of people rightly hailing Edward Snowden's actions as heroic, but I've also seen many folks, some whose intelligence I once respected, calling him a "traitor." Traitor? Who did he betray? If you say he betrayed America, then you clearly believe that America IS the government. What a disgusting mindset. America IS the people, not the government. Yes, he betrayed the government, and God bless him for it. But how in God's name could you claim that he betrayed THE PEOPLE? He told us the truth and you hate him for it? Are you that much of a submissive masochist that you'd valiantly defend the State's right to lie to you? How pitiful.
I saw one woman comment saying she believes Mr. Snowden means well, but he should have gone "through the proper channels." Proper channels? Are you freaking kidding me? Sure. Maybe he should have written a letter to his congressman. Yes, more letters, that'll solve our problems! All I know is this: When you're upset at the government, always make sure to go through government channels to address your grievances. Brilliant. Speaking of proper channels, does the government go through them before tapping our phones and monitoring our Internet activity? Apparently not. But we should go through the proper channels when fighting against the government's refusal to go through the proper channels? Interesting. Another guy messaged me, taking issue with my heralding of Snowden, saying the guy should have "voiced his concerns with his superiors." Yeah, I can only imagine how well that conversation would go:
Snowden: Excuse me sir, I have a concern I'd like to discuss with you.
NSA boss: Please, come in and sit down. Tell me what troubles you.
Snowden: Well, there's this thing called the Bill of Rights...
NSA boss: Sorry, you lost me. Bill of what?
Snowden: Yeah, it's, like, the law of the land. It says you can't just go around spying on American citizens, tapping their phone records, hacking into their emails, and monitoring their Internet activity without a warrant and probable cause.
NSA boss: LOL! You crack me up, kid. Hold on, let me get Rick in here. You've gotta tell him this joke. He'll get a kick out of it.
Snowden: No, seriously. Look, I'm really upset and I think that pretty much everything we do here is blatantly illegal and unethical. This entire American citizen surveillance program that we've invested billions of dollars into should be dismantled immediately!
NSA boss: Ahhhhhahahahaha! Stop it! Stop it! You're killin' me! My sides hurt!
Snowden: Listen! I'm gonna expose these secrets to the media if you don't take me seriously!
NSA boss: ... Oh. I see. Are you now? OK, well in that case, I guess we should really hear you out. Tonight, some men in a black van will come to your house. Go with them. They'll take you to our special "facility" for whistleblowers and document leakers. The people there will be sure to listen to your concerns and then do what needs to be done to you -- uh, I mean about them. Do what needs to be done about them, your concerns, I mean. Anyway, thank you for opening up to me! We here at the NSA care deeply about freedom and rights and all that happy bullsh*t! Have a good day!
And then Snowden would shortly end up in a prison cell or a pine box. But at least he got there through the proper channels, right?