Rick Jenson: Obama created Snowden
Here’s the problem: Edward Snowden did a great service to American freedom by proving National Intelligence Director James Clapper and NSA Director General Keith Alexander perjured themselves before Congress when they lied about spying on millions of innocent Americans.
Edward Snowden loses credibility as an All-American whistleblower when China and Russia gleefully shuttle him from country to country in anticipation of his reportedly desired destination of Ecuador, a delightful American ex-pat destination.
Whether Snowden shared any information from the alleged four laptops he carries with any of these enemies of the U.S. or not, the perception is that he may indeed have done so while the Chinese and Russians have, at the very least, enjoyed taunting President Obama with Snowden as their thumb-nosing arm candy.
The intrigue of Edward Snowden could not have existed without the iron-fisted rule of President Obama, whose administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other in our country’s history.
An Obama supporter and voter, Snowden himself confessed disillusionment with the President and the spying on millions of innocent Americans, driving him and others to disclose these massive violations of the fourth amendment. Others in the NSA who failed to achieve Snowden’s success have come forth to the press with their support.
This is where the real conundrum comes forth.
Snowden, riding piggyback with the Chinese and Russians on the way to Ecuador, gives his potential prosecutors the optics they seek to demonize him.
However, former NSA employees who traveled the "proper channels" route were stifled, prosecuted and ruined, failing to achieve the remarkable success of Snowden.
Reporters Susan Page and Peter Eisler wrote for USA Today, "Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe belong to a select fraternity: the NSA officials who paved the way."
For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens. When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media.
To the intelligence community, the trio are villains who compromised what the government classifies as some of its most secret, crucial and successful initiatives. They have been investigated as criminals and forced to give up careers, reputations and friendships built over a lifetime."
That’s the reality of whistleblowing the NSA through proper channels.
Tom Drake, a senior executive with the NSA, awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal, was actually prosecuted, facing 35 years in jail.
Charges were eventually dropped.
All three commend Snowden’s actions. All three and their revelations were generally anonymous until Snowden’s success.
Neither hero to be enshrined nor comic book villain to be banished from the planet, Edward Snowden is simply one of a number of Americans who chose to reveal this administration’s blatant disregard for the Constitution.
Many Americans will form their opinions around the company Snowden now keeps. Many will recognize this was the only way to get the word out.
Rick Jenson can be contacted by emai at firstname.lastname@example.org.