One of the interesting things that has come out about the Snowden leak is the reaction to it. In the Nixon White House critics claimed it wasn’t so much the crime – bad enough of itself – as the coverup. In some ways it is appalling, but not surprising, that our own government is doing this, but it is more appalling that some react to it with indifference or with anger towards the leaker.
I can’t say that Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor. We don’t know what his true motives are. We don’t know enough about him. More will come out, I hope, and shed some light on him.
I do think that the government monitoring of us is a terrible thing. Sure, most of us aren’t doing anything that would get us in trouble. However, I know, too, that anything you do or say can be taken out of context, twisted and made to look terrible. Giving information about yourself is giving your opponents a tool to use against you.
Some say no one is listening to our phone calls. Evidently that’s not true as it was discovered that the calls of soldiers in Iraq making intimate phone calls home to wives or girlfriends was something people sought out to listen to. Anyone who wants to run for office who made such an innocent call can have that used against him. Remember Barack Obama’s opponent for the Senate seat in Illinois? The sealed records of Jack Ryan’s divorce papers were released and his career went phhffft. Multiply that by millions and you think everyone’s safe?
It’s disturbing who’s not disturbed by this. Speaker John Boehner, for instance. This top Republican should be leading the charge to find out more and stop this surveillance of innocent people. Karl Rove is for it, too. Really? Shame on him. So are Steve Moore, economist and co-founder of the conservative Club for Growth; Senator Rob Johnson of Wisconsin; former NSA director Michael Hayden; analysts Bill Krystal and Brit Hume.
The reaction of young people is particularly stunning. Many just shrug their shoulders and say government’s been doing that a long time, who cares? Some want to appear sophisticated. They know all about web technology. In truth they are exceptionally naive.
Maybe it has something to do with education. Those of us who are older were taught the traditional American values of freedom and the Constitution. Who knows what they’ve been learning the past twenty years? Obviously it was not the same history and beliefs we hold dear. The world has been turned upside down. For once, young people are the complacent while the older population the revolutionary ones.
Thankfully some are standing up for freedom. In the good column are Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz; Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner who helped write the Patriot Act; Glenn Beck and a few others. The co-founder of Home Depot, Ken Langone, said yesterday that “I’d throw a party for Edward Snowden” and praised his courage for outing this info.
Have we become so enamored of our daily personal pleasures that freedom and privacy no longer matter? If so, that is what Obama is counting on. That is how tyranny is ushered in.