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by
Rick Moran

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June 9, 2013 - 1:39 pm

His name is Edward Snowden and he was a contract employee for the NSA working for Booz Allen Hamilton. In a series of interviews with Glenn Greenwald of the Guardianhe revealed the NSA program that scanned the phone records of millions of Americans.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. “I don’t want public attention because I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

A high school drop-out, Snowden sounds incredibly naive.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he says. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

If the guy was so shocked at putting a potential asset in a compromising position by getting him drunk, what do you think he would have said about a CIA honey trap?

Regardless, I am of two minds about this fellow, especially after reading this:

Q: When did you decide to leak the documents?

A: “You see things that may be disturbing. When you see everything you realise that some of these things are abusive. The awareness of wrong-doing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up [and decided this is it]. It was a natural process.

“A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”

A whistleblower who times his leaking based on political criteria? That’s a first.

Is this really a whistleblower? Snowden swears he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Well, that’s a bunch of hooey. Breaking the law is wrong. Breaking your oath of secrecy is wrong. Breaking the trust of your employer is wrong. If he really believed he did nothing wrong, he’d come back to the states voluntarily and see if a jury of his peers agreed with him.

They won’t. They’ll throw him in jail for the rest of his life. This is someone who obviously believes the ends justifies the means — a curious position to take since the CIA and NSA make the same claim all the time. We may hate and fear the surveillance programs, but when you get right down to it, they’re legal — at least as far as the law stands now. The correct remedy is to change the law. How could we change the law if we didn’t know the extent of the surveillance?

I’ll get back to you on that.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Top Rated Comments   

The author of this story is on the wrong side of History, as any politician worth their salt will start siding with hearings and sunlight shining on these programs lest they be voted out by the angry mobs.

There are so many issues ; govt abuse of corporate secrets, corporations using these databases to spy on competition, Party in power using these programs to spy on their opponent, political parties using them to spy on entire political action groups, IRS using to spy on corporations and high net worth individuals, there are so many avenues for this to be abused it will be dismantled.
Enough is enough, we are creating the foundation of a Police state and it needs to stop.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rick Moran, it may be technically illegal however one cannot make the blanket statement that it is wrong to break the law, especially if the law is unconstitutional or immoral. The law in and of itself breaks a higher law but could never be tried due to an overarching nondisclosure law. He tried in a previous suit but was unable to prevail because of this cloak of secrecy. Martyr is a more appropriate term in this case.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Please print the NSA employees phone numbers, the numbers they call, and e-mails. I will decide if they are terrorists.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (93)
All Comments   (93)
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Is Snowden a hero or a zero? At this time is that relevant?
What is relevant is that WE THE PEOPLE found out what OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN DOING TO US...under the guise of protecting us from terrorism.

What is more terroristic than SPYING on us, collecting and storing our private and personal information to be used against us by a tyrannical government that is supposed to be our servant...not our MASTER DICTATOR.
All their spying on us made them ignore the BOSTON MARATHON BOMBERS whom Russia told them needed watching. They were too busy spying on AMERICAN CITIZENS to follow up on real terrorists. Let's get real here and not buy their nonsense explanation for one second! They have collected dossiers on ALL AMERICAN citizens who have done NO wrong. That's what is the big issue! That is the danger. Don't let the Govt. sidetrack you on whether Snowden was right or wrong. It was YOUR GOVT. that is wrong and spying on you!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Republicans find the overwhelming advances in surveillance by electronic eavesdropping, fixed camera, and drone irresistible in keeping tabs on populations within our borders who present great danger. Democrats find them irresistible on more general grounds. Rick Moran is telling us that if you don't like it, change the "law". Good one, Rick. Heads or tails, it's still the same wooden nickel.

Here's a good test: what would the Founders think about the state of the "law"? My guess is that they would close the Constitutional Convention and apologize to the anti-Federalist. Moran loves him some Hamilton.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a former Intelligence Officer, my question is: who hired him? Wouldn't be kind of obvious that he a self-righteous and egotistical?

My theory is simply that the community likes guys like him. You have some serious leverage over damaged goods, or so they think. Look at all the ones who hopped the fence. Plenty knew they were trouble, but they just kept on keeping on and no one cared.

I love it when people start talking about guiding principles or some such, then don't mention specifics but just rave about generalities and vague concepts. Sounds very Bible thumper to me, but without the Bible.

I loathe the whole thing because they never take into account the effect of their principles on others.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am rather surprised and disgusted by the Neo-con tone of this article. I am (apparently) naive enough, myself, to have thought for a brief moment that the guiding principles of PJ Media were founded on the ideal of Constitutional govt contained in the founding documents. I am so stupid. Because now I learn that you people all stand for the same coercive, unbridled, lawless policies which have brought our republic to the brink of annihilation. There is clearly no hope for a return to decency and accountability since at least half of the Republican party is run by this "Ruling Class" mentality, which makes no apologies for undermining the rule of law. The most ironic thing in this tripe filled article was this doozy, "This is someone who obviously believes the ends justifies the means..."
Pot meet kettle.
Tho, IMO, the phrase simply doesn't apply to Edward Snowden, whistleblower.
Rick Moran, you have single-handedly convinced me that our country is doomed, if you represent any portion of the loyal opposition to Obamanation. Your thinking is just another side of the same corrupted coin.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Snowden is a true American. Defender of our Liberties. But he is naive!See, he didn't have a politician advising him as to weather to reveal his identity or not. Why? Because he stepped on a lot of Congressional and Senator's toes in We The Elite People of culture of corruption in All of Washington DC. They're mad-as-hell because the truth be told...they knew this was goin' on ever since Bush signed the Patriot Act. What they didn't know was HOW this and "data mining" were related and How Obama was planning to employ this information for political purposes...THAT'S THE REAL STORY. See, Obama (Democratic Party operatives) no longer had reliable census figures since the last one of 2010. So, the best way to track ALL newly minted (potential) Democratic registrants??? Information Technology. How to get it? The "Techie nerds!" Obama phones, think that was a stupid program? Think again! "Data Mining" is the name of the game...and whonever best does it, is the winner!!! That's why Mr. Snowden is naive. He exposed the corrupt Congress and Senate for what they are...hipocrites.Don't forget, repeak the 16th Amendment, abolish the IRS, and institute a Flat Tax of 15% , a Gold Standard anda Balanced Budget. Pray. Amen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Civil disobedience against Unconstitutional actions by the government is a DUTY! Especially so for all those that have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and the Republic. To not do so is unpatriotic and treasonous. The agencies of the federal government have become corrupt, and some like the CIA have long been corrupt and working out of bounds of the Constitution. Likewise the FBI. The corruption of these agencies makes possible a fraud president like Obama! Obama in turn further fosters the corruption of other agencies such as the NSA, DHS, IRS and all the lesser administrative agencies. The federal government is a hotbed of corruption unfettered by a corrupt Congress! A corrupt Congress that gives only lip service if that to the Constitution and the People. Taking an oath is a two way street, it places a burden on the taker and the the benefactor. When the benefactor violates his duty it becomes the duty of the oath taker to respond to a higher oath and duty and expose the crimes and or abuses. The duty of any and every Patriot is first and foremost to the Constitution and the People and therefore exposure of wrong doing is the highest calling of the Patriot. Hopefully the beginning of the destruction of a corrupt federal government, a corrupt presidency, and a corrupt political system has begun in earnest. But it will take some time to correct the mistakes of forty years of malaise and get back to sound government basics. there are two major political parties to contend with and the elimination of what both have become will be necessary!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He clearly broke the law. However, if a law is unconstitutional, it is no law at all, it is null and void. Breaking such an unconstitutional law is thus no crime. And informing the public that the government is behaving unconstitutionally or illegally is also neither wrong nor illegal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Breaking the law is wrong. Breaking your oath of secrecy is wrong."

So speaks the big-government-loving, moderate Republican.

You are wrong, Mr. Moran. If your government is doing something tyrannical, then exposing their wrong-doing is right. In fact, it is a duty to out them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And the price of that duty is the willingness to be charged, arrested, and sentenced for breaking the law, and you'd damn well better be right that the law or action is illegal or unconstitutional and have lots of friends and supporters with money for your legal defense. You will almost certainly lose in the trial court and face years either with a sentence hanging over you or in jail as it works through the appeal process. Rest assured that the government will oppose any release or bail in the pendancy of appeals and will do everything it can to make the appeal processs as time consuming and expensive as possible.

Whether this guy is remembered, if he's remembered at all, as a patriot or a traitor depends entirely on who wins the next election or two - or who wins the war.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We'll never know this fellow's true motivations.

What we do know, and what is important, is he's unmasked a massive government invasion of privacy.

And that may allow us to save our Republic from tyranny. This time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Who is watching the watchers?
The NSA data gathering was supported by the FISA court judges in a secret ruling. We are supposed trust them. Yet the DoJ lied to 3 judges before obtaining a warrant to track FNC's James Rosen personal and professional information. Again in secret, but exposed for what it was; a criminal corrupt act and I'm supposed to trust this administration?

So the NSA has secret programs reviewed by a secret court with secret warrants to obtain American's personal information in secrecy. So who beyond a few congressional chairman were, maybe, watching what was happening. No one was looking at the less secret IRS abusing their power and I am expected to believe that the NSA isn't. Heck, the NSA wanted to redefine the 4th Amendment for their purposes. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/nsa-memo-4th-amendment-92416.html
IRS officials lied during public testimony as has Mr. Clapper, the head of our intelligence community. The President lied by omission when he indicated "congress" was aware of the programs.

I refuse to give up my freedom for security because as Ben Franklin indicated, I will have neither.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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