Hiding from U.S. authorities in Russia, Edward Snowden has wasted no time making himself “felt” politically in the United States. Ever since he arrived in Russia he has been talking and groups around the world have been listening.
Born and raised in the Cold War, I was taught that people like Snowden were traitors. Today, he’s some sort of cult hero and will have books and movies made to honor what he did. Even if his exile to Mother Russia was not by design, he has become a facilitator for global interests that seek to hurt the United States. That makes him an enemy of the United States.
This weekend in Washington, DC, a group of protestors will rally against the National Security Agency and “mass surveillance”. One of the organizers resides in Charlottesville, Virginia and his group has received an endorsement from the loquacious Snowden. From Moscow Snowden issued the following statement:
We’ve learned that the U.S. intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance. Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA’s hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They’re wrong. Now it’s time for the government to learn from us. On Saturday, the ACLU, EFF, and the rest of the StopWatching.Us coalition are going to D.C. Join us in sending the message: Stop Watching Us.
During the Cold War, freedom-loving Americans became very upset when individuals who knew better were caught helping the Soviets, or any foreign power, that sought to do harm to our country. There is no proof that Snowden was spying for anyone or any nation; however in my book, Snowden ranks up there with the likes of a Kim Philby or Robert Hanssen. And in some ways, Snowden has done a lot more damage than a traditional Cold War spy.
It’s bad enough he stole and published sensitive information about U.S. and allied surveillance programs, but now, perched from Russia, he’s creating a platform to wage a propaganda war against his country. I’m not sure anymore what motivates this new breed of American. Ego? Boredom? A combination? No matter. He’s still talking. He’s doing exactly what he promised he was not going to do.
It appears to those of us who have been in this town for an appreciable amount of time that Snowden has been given a free pass by parts of the Obama Administration. No surprise there. Up until a few days ago, the National Security Council had a rogue tweeter working in the office. By the way, this tweeter think he needs a lot more than a psychiatrist.
Congress should focus and find ways to secure his return to the United States to be tried in U.S. courts for his crimes. There is a lot Congress can do in appropriations and authorization bills to make it painful for Russia to keep harboring Snowden. Be creative.
A few days ago I was talking with a young student, likely half my age and born well after the Berlin Wall had crumbled. We talked some about the Snowden and what he did. She did not see what was the “big deal” about what he had done. I thought to myself, man, am I becoming old fashioned? Let’s hope not.