At the beginning of the NSA Whistleblower story, I supported Edward Snowden’s release of information regarding the government hoarding of gazillions of pieces of information from private citizens’ personal emails, cell phones, etc. To that extent, I still support him.
Not only is the facility in Utah a gigantic waste of our taxpayer dollars, but it is creepy at a level far beyond anything Orwell ever imagined. Add to that the drone program which will (paraphrasing) never, ever, ever be used against American citizens within our own borders and the creepiness reaches nearly incomprehensible levels.
I just want to know “Why Hong Kong?” “Why Russia?” If you believe in what you are doing with all your heart, and have the welfare of your fellow Americans first and foremost in your mind, why not follow regular channels under the protection of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. Because, whether he was aware of it or not, he can’t.
“Generally, current employees, former employees, or applicants for employment to positions in the executive branch of government in both the competitive and the excepted service, as well as positions in the Senior Executive Service, are considered covered employees. However, those positions that are excepted from the competitive service because of their ‘confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character,’ and any positions exempted by the President based on a determination that it is necessary and warranted by conditions of good administration, are not protected by the whistleblower statute. Moreover, the statute does not apply to federal workers employed by the Postal Service or the Postal Rate Commission, the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the National Security Agency, and any other executive entity that the President determines primarily conducts foreign intelligence or counter-intelligence activities” (WPA of 1989).
I do not know if Snowden is just naïve or doesn’t give a damn, but it seems as though he has no protection available to him under this Act. Basically, he is “A Man without a Country”. If he comes back to America, he will be charged with espionage (at the very least). Putin seems not to care where he goes – as long as it isn’t Russia. Although, I would not put it past Vlad to offer him up like a roast suckling pig in exchange for one or two of their spies currently being held in the US. Who knows what China thinks. I guess if they wanted him, he would be in Beijing right now – not an airport in Moscow.
There are a few little totalitarian nations who would love to have the “American Whistleblower” so they could parade him around and show the world how evil America is. Snowden would be treated like a King…for about a minute and a half. Then it would come down to a game of “Let’s Make a Deal” with the US either on the part of Snowden or the dictator of whatever inconsequential country he lands in. Does Edward Snowden realize that he has about 45 seconds left of his 15 minutes of fame? Unless he stole secrets that could blow the lid off of our intelligence-gathering network, he has nothing more to offer.
This is why I chose to wait and not give my opinion until the dust settled. I was all warm and fuzzy towards the guy because this story vindicated President Bush to an extent, and exposed Barry as the kind of dude who talks out of both sides of his ass. Not that we weren’t already aware of that charming trait. “’The number of authorizations the Justice Department received to use these devices [pen register and tap & trace] on individuals’ email and network data increased 361% between 2009 and 2011,’ the ACLU said” (Breitbart.com).
Now I am a little more cold and prickly. Edward Snowden managed to capture the hearts of many in the nation for revealing the extent to which government control over our lives under the Anointed One has spread. Perhaps this was the “look over here – not over there” part of his plan. I suspect his goal is to damage our trust in our own government (although they’ve done a good job of that themselves), weaken our stance in the eyes of the world (Barry beat him to it, though) and live in a country where he is considered a hero and not just an everyday schlub high school dropout in a semi-boring government job. If my suspicions are true, Eddie will soon find out that it is better to be a free schlub than a captive former hero who is of no value to those who will soon control his life.