Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I must be getting to be a geezer: more things seem to be annoying me these days. Latest is Mr. Snowden, claiming "persecution" because the US pulled his passport.

First, it's not persecution. He has no idea what that word means. If his airport lounge in Moscow isn't cushy while he awaits his future, he can blame the Russians or fly out to another one somewhere else. Meanwhile, how about he entertains himself by finding out what real persecution is all about, say, by reading a little Jewish history, or American slaves' stories. Where does Snowden get off acting the victim?

Second, what did he expect: more applause? I kinda understand the initial reaction by many to hail him for spilling the beans about the meta data thing. It is a conversation we need to have in this country, though the major reaction seems to be a country wide yawn. Anybody who watches TV knows nothing on line is private, cell phones and cars can be tracked, your property has been photographed, etc. Various people will hold dear various ideas about whether proper safeguards are in place or not, many independent of data.

However, he has no honor, even in what can be charitably be described as whistle blowing. The man did sign non-disclosure agreements and (somehow) qualified for a high level security clearance (another needed national conversation). Then he violated his oath. It's not as if he didn't have less drastic options for starting this conversation, but those wouldn't have given him the attention his overweening ego demanded.

Had it ended there, he might still have been able to claim whistle-blower status. But no, now he had to go and repeatedly damage this country by divulging how we gather intelligence (spy) on other countries. There is no way that doesn't qualify as espionage. We  have too many enemies out there who are delighting in what's going on. Perhaps we deserve the scorn: that's another conversation we need to have. But this is not the way to start it, and there will be repercussions, whether or not we should be able to spy on other countries, whether or not this is the way to do it, whether or not everybody else is doing it as well.

Pulling a passport strikes me as a very mild form of consequences, not persecution. Someone completely full of himself and self-important wouldn't see it that way, I guess.

Poor Edward.Yeah, right. No sympathy here.

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