Whistleblower or traitor?

Richard Carnes

Those choosing “hero” as an answer when describing Edward Snowden are not only making the wrong choice, they obviously misunderstood the question.

Either way, it is highly entertaining to watch clips of the Fox bobblehead known as Sean Hannity as he praises the NSA techniques under the Bush administration, and then quite literally (wearing the same coat and tie) condemns the exact same NSA techniques under the Obama administration.

It’s almost as if the talking heads were, for some completely unknown reason, intent on politicizing the issue for political gain.


The issue has certainly brought out its fair share of fair weather Fourth Amendment supporters, but if anything it reminds me of a 1776 paraphrasing generally attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

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This is what the protesters in Turkey have been shouting about these last few weeks, as well as most New Yorkers for the past few years, as Mayor Bloomberg continues his silly nanny state approach to leadership.

A law is a good law only to the point that it will be followed by those it represents. A crappy law deserves to be treated as such, and if the majority agree, then the law should be overturned.

But what exactly it is that most of you think the NSA has actually been doing since its inception by President Truman in 1952?

These type of tactics are what they do and they have been doing them, in one form or another, since before most of us were born. Our elected officials have always been in the loop, and we are the ones that elected them, so there is no one to blame but ourselves.

Besides, I don’t see how we can demand to be kept safe and free from terrorists and then act appalled when we discover the super-secret methods used to root them out. As recently as the Boston bombings, we were yelling and screaming at the “damn guv’ment” for not connecting the dots and protecting us from those yahoos. But just how in the world do you think the dots are ever identified in the first place?

As far as Eddie Snowden is concerned, let me say up front that the letters in his name can be rearranged to spell “Did deed on news” and “Odd news indeed.”

In my opinion, the little overpaid nerd with the pole-stripper girlfriend went from potential whistleblower to outright traitor the minute he gave one data bit of our secret information to a foreign entity — the opportunity for a silver-lining from a national dialogue on the subject becoming instantaneously moot.

Every organization that handles classified information has a built-in process for reporting insider wrongdoing. This turncoat did no such thing, and instead chose to become a brief international superstar in that well-known bastion of freedom, Hong Kong, aka China South.

Yes, I understand Hong Kong still has a “level of autonomy,” but if you don’t think Beijing is now in charge of Snowden and will do whatever it takes to wring every last drop of data from his treacherous little former American butt, then I suggest you are incapable of rational thought and should go enjoy another one-size-fits-all glass of subsidized Kool-Aid.

Snowden’s actions have caused serious damage to national security, the results of which will be seen for years to come. The man is a traitor, plain and simple, and deserves whatever punishment is forthcoming.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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