My wife and I recently watched the PBS documentary, The United States of Secrets, which describes the unlimited power the National Security Agency received after 9/11 and the eventual exposure of the abuse of that power through one Edward Snowden.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with Snowden at first, assuming he was a publicity-seeking missile like most Americans. I waited for news of his book-and-movie deal to confirm my suspicions.
Instead, he made his exile official, and while he still gives interviews to the Western press, he’s not getting any richer and he still has to live in the massively dysfunctional world of Vladimir Putin.
The only response from the United States government is that Snowden is a traitor and that he should come home, do the right thing and stand trial for his crimes. I don’t know of any idiot on earth that would accept that invitation. The guy is obviously guilty until proven innocent, and he would never be found innocent in the paranoid environment of the United States.
I am now inclined to believe that Snowden acted out of principle. He is a person who “saw wrong and tried to right it.” The American government clearly overstepped boundaries by invading the privacy of millions of its citizens and deserved to be exposed for their gross indignities.
The irony of the situation is that most Americans don’t give a rat’s ass about their privacy. The majority would love to see their privacy invaded. They’d love to see their nude pictures go viral. They’d love to see their absurd family squabbles get the attention of television producers and become the subject of a reality TV show. They’d love to see their talented little girl get some press so they could exploit the crap out of her and waste all their riches on drugs, mansions and trips to Las Vegas.
Edward Snowden is not a traitor but a hero . . . and in the madness of a culture ready to implode from sanctioned narcissism, his efforts were wasted on a people who didn’t deserve him.