It is unfortunate that Mr. Snowden popped up in Hong Kong, skipped over to Moscow, and has found refuge in arms of America’s rivals. But what was one to expect? Initially reports were that he wanted to head to Iceland but for all of Reykjavik’s recent bucking of the current world economic system, it remains a member of NATO with a large US base on the island.
So Snowden went where he wouldn’t be handed over and this has allowed his critics, the defenders of wide ranging warrantless spying on American citizens, who potentially are libel for any breaches of constitutional law, to call him a traitor.
That much of the mainstream media, the #oldmedia, refers to Snowden as a “leaker” and not a “whistleblower” is an example of how, for all the outrage surrounding the bugging of the AP etc, the media still carries the water for an establishment which is scared that Snowden is the start of something bigger. The fear is that the citizenry (what much of Washington DC considers the simple minded peasantry) will insist that it be treated with the respect it deserves per the Constitution, which is still the law of the land.
How can what the NSA did not be in gross violation of the 4th Amendment?
Others have sought to blow the whistle via official avenues but were continually rebuffed by authorities who would not take action. Snowden took an end route to the media. There was little option according to the prior whistle blowers.
We tried to stay for the better part of seven years inside the government trying to get the government to recognize the unconstitutional, illegal activity that they were doing and openly admit that and devise certain ways that would be constitutionally and legally acceptable to achieve the ends they were really after. And that just failed totally because no one in Congress or — we couldn’t get anybody in the courts, and certainly the Department of Justice and inspector general’s office didn’t pay any attention to it. And all of the efforts we made just produced no change whatsoever. All it did was continue to get worse and expand.
Should Snowden have gone to China? Probably not. But where else should he have gone? If he had stayed in the States he’d probably be in undisclosed cell somewhere today. He’d likely be denied a lawyer with the NDAA now in place. He had little option but to run.
Saying this he should not have mentioned spying on other countries. That was a mistake.
Fundamentally however the railing against Edward Snowden is about a political establishment that knows it is in a position of extreme privilege and that if the American people actually got angry enough this privilege might be taken from them. This simply can not happen and so the powers that be, those who may have approved unconstitutional snooping, are circling the wagons and leaning on at least some in the media to make their case.
(From The New Yorker)
It is easy to understand, though not to approve of, why Administration officials, who have been embarrassed by Snowden’s revelations, would seek to question his motives and exaggerate the damage he has done to national security. Feinstein, too, has been placed in a tricky spot. Tasked with overseeing the spooks and their spying operations, she appears to have done little more than nod.
More unnerving is the way in which various members of the media have failed to challenge the official line. Nobody should be surprised to see the New York Post running the headline: “ROGUES’ GALLERY: SNOWDEN JOINS LONG LIST OF NOTORIOUS, GUTLESS TRAITORS FLEEING TO RUSSIA.” But where are Snowden’s defenders? As of Monday, the editorial pages of the Timesand the Washington Post, the two most influential papers in the country, hadn’t even addressed the Obama Administration’s decision to charge Snowden with two counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of theft.