Thursday, May 29, 2014

Was Edward Snowden A Patriot: UPHOLDING the Law & NOT Breaking It?

The real questions that face the United States of America are important.  What Snowden did was to uphold the law (the Fourth Amendment).  Leaking top secret government information is considered treason.  But the party Snowden leaked the information was his fellow patriots - not an foreign regime.


Was it the Patriot, Edward Snowden?  Snowden (and rightfully so) did not trust his government or superiors to do the right thing by disclosing to the American People just how bad the breach of privacy really was or how extensive the spying apparatus was with regard to the monitoring of the American People.

Perhaps the bigger culprit isn't Snowden at all.  It's the NSA who is guilty of failing to follow the law as it was written in the Constitution.  No one would argue that he broke his oath to keep security secrets - secret.  In this manner, Snowden broke his oath.  But the question is what is the lesser evil?  Telling the American People about this incredible breach of privacy or breaking an oath so that the NSA can continue UNCHECKED in its surveillance operations?  Snowden clearly felt that these operations clearly violated the rights of the American People to privacy and that such operations were so enormous in scope and magnitude, that to keep the silence would have been akin to to the more treasonous act of not upholding the Fourth Amendment rights of the citizenry and the Constitution - in whole - not in part.


Snowden must have felt that a continuous erosion of the Constitution is a very grave concern and very much threatens the entire existence of the Republic.  Where must we draw the line?  Do we slowly ignore the Constitutional rights of citizens to the benefit of the government and security and of less privacy?  To do so, inches the Republic ever closer to a POLICE STATE.  And, when the movements of and freedoms of the citizens of country are slowly and surely eroded into oblivion, so goes the liberty of the nation.

I am sure, that Snowden must have had many thoughts concerning the issues of privacy, upholding the Fourth Amendment and also about preserving privacy and freedom.  NO DOUBT, Snowden knows far more than he is letting on and he won't disclose it completely.  But, at the same time, he was a party to something that very apparently scared him so much that to continue withholding his secret would have been a greater disservice to the American People.


Interestingly, the "GENERAL SEARCH" for information of the NSA isn't all that distant in history from the disputes American Colonialists had with the British Government concerning the abuse of the Writ of Assistance which apparently the subject of much abuse and tension.  Wikipedia states:
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted in response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, a type of general search warrant issued by the British government and a major source of tension in pre-Revolutionary America
He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of this country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man….The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.- Samuel Adams
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.- Benjamin Franklin
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.
- Benjamin Franklin
We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
- Abraham Lincoln

Yes, Edward Snowden is guilty of breaking his oath.  And, yes, he is guilty as charged.  But, considering the circumstances and the graveness of the issue at hand, and with regard to his desire to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, I applaud his actions.  I do not think that the government may always be trusted to follow the law nor to disclose to the American People those things which are noxious to the liberty of this great nation.  The bigger culprit here are the men who have perverted the Constitution in the name of "national security" and who have made Edward Snowden a party to these illegal activities and which Snowden, in an act of uncommon bravery and valor, has brought to full light out of love for his country. There is no doubt in my mind, that what Snowden acted on his deepest desire to preserve the privacy and liberty of the American People, which was the right thing to do as it pertains to the Fourth Amendment.

You must now ask yourself these two questions:

(1) Did the American People have a right to know about this massive operation which was a violation of a reasonable right to privacy (in absence of probably cause)?

(2) Would you have trusted the United States Government and the National Security Agency to disclose to the American People the scope and magnitude of their surveillance operations and that such operations were conducted CLEARLY in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution?

(3) Did Snowden really break the law given the fact that he was party to (and was expected to dispense with his illegal duties) with regard to operations - which can adequately be described as massive in both scope and magnitude - that were, again, a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution?

(4) Who is the REAL culprit here?  The NSA or Snowden?

You decide.

Contributor: Michael Hathman

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