We saw this coming. They went after Bradley Manning. They went after Occupy. This is the same government that is spying on our communications, fourth Amendment be damned. But maybe I naively thought that the government would show some kind of restraint. Maybe I thought they wouldn’t choose to use taxpayer money to bring the full force of the government on a man who was just letting the American people know something that should not have been kept secret for us.
I held out, you know, hope. The government has went after whistleblowers before but I hoped things would, you know, change.
I would be wrong. From Reuters:
The government has filed sealed criminal charges against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who admitted leaking secrets about classified U.S. surveillance programs, U.S. sources said on Friday.
Another U.S. source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was preparing to seek Snowden’s extradition from Hong Kong, where he is believed to be in hiding.
So it starts.
The Reuters article says at the end that there may be a plane to Iceland ready for Snowden if he needs it. It’s wrong that it may have to come to that.
I’ve grown increasingly angry as the NSA spying came to light. I watched Republicans on the far-right and “Democrats” and “Progressives” on the center-right call Snowden a traitor. They floated conspiracy theories that he was a spy for China. The corporate media attacked Snowden. Some in the center-right regions of the “liberal” blogosphere attacked him too. I was getting sick of it.
“Maybe they won’t go after him. Maybe they won’t waste our money to chase him all the way to Hong Kong.” Wishful thinking.
I know and respect that Obama isn’t all that popular in these parts. I’ve defended Obama through police attacks against Occupy camps, chained CPI, and repeated cave-ins to Republicans who hold our economy hostage, and countless other legitimate criticisms. I’ve tried to see him as a calm, collected, pragmatic president who has our backs and has the well-being of Americans in mind even though things look bad. At the beginning of the NSA scandal I tried to see both sides: that the spying was a terrible violation of our rights that Obama should be held accountable, but that he somehow thought he needed to do it to protect us.
If he didn’t go after Snowden it would show the courage and leadership that I really thought Obama had.
Mr. President, my patience is wearing thin. Show that you respect the rights of the American people. Pardon Snowden. Do it soon. Some say Snowden is a traitor. I am starting to feel betrayed, but not by Snowden.