Snowden Reveals More Than The Surveilance Program
Edward Snowden threw away his career with high pay and his entire future, his chance to live a good and comfortable life in his own country, near his family and loved ones, and risked being incarcerated for the rest of his life, in order to let his countrymen know that their government spies on them, without any cause or suspicion of any wrongdoing and against all standards of civil and human rights and against the letter and spirit of the US Constitution. By doing so, he ended up, at the very least, starting a debate which even his critics acknowledged was needed, including the President himself, who never initiated it on his own until it was exposed. It’s like your neighbor sneaking into your yard and looking through your trash until one day you catch him and ask him why he’s doing that, especially without your knowledge or permission, and he says: We needed a debate on wether I should be doing that.
And how about a debate on whether members of the Executive Branch should not tell lies to Congress under oath, as the National Intelligence Director, James Clapper recently did when asked about the existence of such a program at a Congressional hearing, which he later apologized for and admitted was untrue, in a letter he sent to Senator Diane Feinstein, chair of Senate Intelligence Committee, after Snowden’s revelation of the program? Should we have a debate on that, too?
But, none of that matters to supporters of Obama, some of whom used to be or rather claimed to be advocates of civil rights and would surely scream foul had the exposure occurred under Bush. Some TV commentators lament that he’s fled the US and won’t be spending the rest of his life in prison. It’s been revealed that unbeknownst to us, all our conversations and correspondences are being seized and monitored by the government and our problem is that a 30 year old won’t be put in jail for life?
Melissa Harris-Perry who admitted there was value in what he did, scolded Snowden on her MSNBC show for not staying to face the consequences of his “civil disobedience”. You know, like those who sit in front of a government building or defy police orders to disperse and are arrested and usually released the same day. What’s the difference? A few hours in detention or life in prison, same thing.
Let me make something clear: the reason blocking the entrance of a government building or traffic by doing a sit in for a few minutes which ends in two police officers handcuffing and carrying you away does not end in a lifetime incarceration is because there is no damage done to the government or its plans or its reputation. Try blocking the shipment of arms to Israel and see if there is a difference in punishment. And for more contrast, try exposing government wrongdoing and atrocities and embarrassing the ruling class. Well, you don’t have to. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden did just that. Manning has been in jail for over three years, half of it in solitary confinement and is facing life in prison if not death and Snowden is wanted for similar charges.
It would be more forgivable for such highly educated professors and “scholars” as Miss Harris-Perry to say such idiotic things and make such stupid comparisons, if we were to believe that they were really that stupid, but they’re not. Miss Harris-Perry who expresses hate for the young whistleblower and accuses him of not loving his country – whatever the hell that means – is only repeating the Administration’s line and collecting a handsome pay for doing that from her bosses at NBC. That’s how she shows her love of her “country”. And what’s there not to love? It’s small wonder she wants Mr. Snowden to spend the rest of his life in jail for embarrassing Obama and the government she so loves, which I have to assume is what she means by “country”. What else could she mean? The people for whom Snowden made all the sacrifice? No. By country she means the ruling class which now is represented by Obama and pays her and others like her to express anger at those who expose their actions. She’s not that different from Obama whom she defends. They both are servants of the same ruling class, in different roles and capacities. They’re in the same team. They’re like the “house negroes” who fetch the whip for the master to whip their own brother. In a more perfect world, it would be illegal for people like her to even mention Dr. King’s name, when they ignore the epidemic hunger and incarceration among the American poor, especially among African Americans. No, that’s not their issue. Their issue is that Obama was caught with his pants down and the perpetrator has to pay for it.
The Administration, upon learning that Snowden was in Moscow, seeking political asylum and that he may be traveling with President Morales in his Presidential jet to Bolivia, pressured the European allies not to allow the jet to travel through their airspace or land for refueling. After France, Portugal, Italy and Spain all complied and the jet was running low on fuel, it landed in Vienna, Austria for refueling where the Austrian police made President Morales get out of his own plane and sit on an airport bench for over 10 hours, like a crime suspect, while they searched his plane for Snowden, in complete and total violation of international laws and diplomatic rules and protocol.
This was a reminder that even while European governments express displeasure at the US spying on them, they know where their allegiance is: it’s with the Empire which in ruling over much of the world, it lets them get their piece, while their and Empire’s multinational corporations continue to plunder and loot world resources and exploit cheap labor, impoverishing the already poor nations. That’s the team or should I say the gang they’re in and that’s whom the likes of Melissa Harris-Perry defend. So, now, according to some reports, a jet that would take Snowden to Venezuela would have to travel 6,500 miles to avoid European airspace!