The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Edward Snowden’s Dubious Heroism

Posted on | June 10, 2013 | 87 Comments

Lindsay Mills is a dancer, acrobat and blogger:

“My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass. . . . But at the moment all I can feel is alone. . . . As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path.”

Until quite recently, she also hoped and expected to become Mrs. Edward Snowden, but without warning, he decided to abscond abroad and release the secrets he had been paid to keep:

Federal agents this afternoon visited the Pennsylvania home of Edward Snowden’s father and stepmother, just hours after the 29-year-old NSA whistleblower checked out of his plush Hong Kong hotel and went on the run from U.S. and Chinese authorities.
Two men, identifying themselves as FBI agents, dropped in on Lonnie Snowden, 52, and his wife Karen Snowden, 48, at their property in Upper Macungie Township, as the couple were still ‘digesting and processing’ the news about their son.

The explanations offered by Edward Snowden just don’t add up. They are rationalizations or excuses, more than explanations. And while there are people who desperately want Snowden to be the hero of this story, I think it’s not really going to work out that way, because Snowden appears to be a deeply flawed personality.

Michael Moynihan is one of the few people who isn’t joining in the rush to beatify Saint Edward of Whistleblower.

OK, that makes me and you, Mike.

We know why the Left loves Snowden: Because they hate America.

Anyone who damages U.S. prestige and undermines America’s national security, they love. You know . . . like Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, vast swaths of the Right seem to be following this syllogism: The NSA revelations are good, because they’re bad for Obama, and therefore Snowden must be hailed as heroic. But where’s the political payoff in that calculus? I think the celebration of Snowden is unnecessary to blaming Obama for this mess, and I suspect Obama will manage to evade the blame.

My Twitter timeline is crowded with hostile characters ranting about the Fourth Amendment in a tone reminiscent of 9/11 Truthers ranting about how fire can’t melt steel: “Inside job!”

Chill out. You think this guy is going to (a) burn the entire U.S. intelligence community and (b) have no dirt for the entire U.S. intelligence community to dig up and leak out?

Within 48 hours, “sources close to the investigation” will bring out damaging material about Snowden, and meanwhile, reporters will be quoting Snowden’s former colleagues to the effect that, since being diagnosed with epilepsy last year, this guy has been acting weird. He was, let’s say . . . depressed. Emotionally unstable. A kook, really.

Charles Krauthammer, on the other hand, is not a kook:



87 Responses to “Edward Snowden’s Dubious Heroism”

  1. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

    So now, it seems the great Captain Oompa Loompa John “The Boner” Boehner has come out in support of DiFi that this is treason. TREASON!

    Article Three of the Constitution and Treason:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    So if Snowden is guilty of !TREASON!, what enemy did he just give aid to?

    Oh, that is right, he exposed the gov for sweeping up all internet and phone data on every US citizen.

    So, it logically follows, that the enemy that has been given aid to, according to the Boner and others, is the US citizens themselves.

    Snowden is giving aid and comfort to us little people, the citizens.

    I guess Congress wants to openly declare their covert war against US citizens and declare them the enemy, if they are declaring treason against Snowden for informing us of the gov stretching (wink wink) the 4th ammendment.

    The R’s and the D’s are in agreement, you have no 4th protection from their bifactional ruling party clan.

  2. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

    Krauthammer is a statist.

    He don’t like them there hickbillies a clingin’ to their guns.

  3. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    And to accept Krauthammer’s assumptions, you just might be foolish.

    “It is all OK just as long as my guy is doing it.”

  4. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

    They are not conservatives and they are not leaders Mr. Duncan. Amen.

    They are just reformed statists looking to spread democracy to the third world.

    Nation building works everytime.

    And if we could just get rid of those idiots in the South, we could all have abortions and things would be great.

  5. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

    Krauthammer is not a conservative.
    He is a moderate, a “sensible republican”.

    He is anti 2nd ammendment, probably would back repealing the third, and he ain’t a friend of the fourth.

  6. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

    That rocked ribbed fount of conservative thought, David Brooks, doesn’t like this Snowden fellow either.

    When the great Brooksy is on your side, you really must be creasing your pants well.

  7. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    Whatever kind of person Snowden is, the people he ratted out deserved it.

    It’s not just the metadata; it’s EVERYTHING:

    Objections to the leak are based on the assumption that the gubmint CAN use that metadata (or content) to find the terrorists, and that it IS using the metadata to find the terrorists.

    However, hard-core terrorists ALREADY use disposable phones and other methods to evade detection. They’re NOT showing up in the metadata analyses.

    Furthermore, our “security” apparatus has been dumbed-down so badly that agents are trained to ignore neon signs that blink “I AM A TERRORIST, YO, I DARE YOU TO SAY SO.”

    Maj. Hassan, the Tsarnaevs, the underwear bomber — all were OBVIOUS problems, but nobody did anything about it, and in fact, the gubmint is STILL insisting that Hassan was overstressed whereas Hassan is boldly declaring himself a soldier of Allah.

    These people think nothing of listening in on intimate conversations between soldiers and their spouses, then passing them around as a joke.

    They don’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore. Not for a second.

  8. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

    Sometimes the law is an ass.

    In that case, you stop insisting that Rule of Law trumps all and start insisting that the lawmakers get their effing acts together and stop warehousing our private communications.

  9. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    You stand and face the music when the orchestra is carrying violins in their violin cases, not uzis.

    Had he gone to the authorities, he’d have been destroyed and what he wanted to expose would have vanished into the ether.

    It’s who they are, it’s what they do.

  10. richard mcenroe
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    Do you have ANYTHING on this topic besides gaybaiting and accusing other posters of treason?

  11. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    You need to find out what happened to the whistle-blowers during the Bush administration. Their cries went unheeded, and they were all crushed under the weight of investigations (into THEM, not the program).

    I don’t know what kind of person Snowden is, but I wouldn’t trust the law to protect me, either.

  12. Becca Lower
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    Hypocrites! When a Democrat like Sen. Feinstein agrees with Republicans (as she did recently on the I.R.S. debacle), it’s OK. But on this issue, it’s bad.

  13. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    “I’m more afraid of the Department of Education than the NSA.”

    You’re not paying attention. They’re ALL corrupt, and they’ll ALL come after you, given the chance.

    Ask General Petreus.

  14. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

    Are you on drugs?

  15. richard mcenroe
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

    Mechanisms are useless when operated by cowards and/or the very criminals they’re meant to restrain.

  16. richard mcenroe
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

    Connecting blanket data on ALL American communications has zero to with catching terrorists.and everything to do with establishing another tool for social and political control.

    Are all YOUR past and present personal associations such that you wouldn’t care if they were made public? To one remove? Or two?

  17. richard mcenroe
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

    “So if Snowden is guilty of !TREASON!, what enemy did he just give aid to?”

    As far as Boehner and Feinstein are concerned, that would be us.

  18. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

    Mechanisms need tweaking? They rejected .03% of all FISA requests. That’s not oversight.

    Furthermore, the FBI lied in 75 warrant applications (that we know about) but no heads roll.

    You’re underestimating how badly and deeply corrupt these agencies are.

    Go ahead and claim that Snowden is a planted “distraction” to turn attention away from THE REAL ISSUES. If I were POTUS and I wanted to plant a scandal, I’d make sure it made the Republicans look bad.

  19. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    Knowledge is Power

    The more they know about you, the more power they have over you.


  20. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    So what if he’s mentally unhinged? What if he’s a paranoid schizophrenic with bipolar disorder and half his brain missing?

    That’s irrelevant to the point at hand. Greenwald is playing rope-a-dope with the info, letting it out by dribs and drabs. After the denials and counter-accusations emerge from the first wave of info, another comes down to smash the opposition.

    Breitbart lives after all. Who know Gleeny would be his heir?

  21. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

    NSA is a real scandal, too.

    86 the “distraction” rhetoric, already. If there are 4 scandals, we deal with 4 scandals; if their are 99 scandals, we deal with 99.

    Just because YOU have the attention-span of a gnat…

  22. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    What if someone deeper in the org gave him the stuff?

    Now what?

  23. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    If he got clearance by misrepresenting himself to the NSA, they’re not doing their job, are they?

    Maybe they’re “distracted” by listening to conjugal phone calls.

  24. ConantheCimmerian
    June 11th, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    At least now we have Dianne Feinstein and John Boehner on record admitting that oath breaking is treasonous.

    But I bet that they don’t think that it applies to them.

  25. dicentra
    June 11th, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

    since being diagnosed with epilepsy last year, this guy has been acting weird. He was, let’s say … depressed. Emotionally unstable. A kook, really

    Stace, I know you’re not one to tiptoe around things, but criminey.

    Epilepsy does not affect your sanity, but being diagnosed with it might bum you out for awhile, since it usually is treated rather than cured.

    Furthermore, emotional instability isn’t incompatible with integrity or decency.

    Yeah, I know. You’re explaining how they might set the guy up, but still.

    All y’all need to knock off the speculation about his mental health. Unless he’s documenting his own hallucinations, there’s no reason to NOT pursue the issue further.

    The NSA revelations are good, because they’re bad for Obama, and therefore Snowden must be hailed as heroic.


    Most of what I’VE heard on the right has nothing to do with tribal politics. They say that the NSA revelations are good because we need to know when our gubmint is overstepping its bounds. PERIOD.

    Maybe you need to hang out with a better class of conservatives.

    Just sayin’

  26. Shawny
    June 11th, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    Unfortunately, that’s where we are. While this administration engages in REAL treason, subversion, abuse of power…..providing real aid and arms to the same terrorists groups who are killing our soldiers. Providing arms to the drug cartels. I’d say there’s a significant difference in body count alone.

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  28. Dai Alanye
    June 11th, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    Fortunately my grandfather made sure I was a supporter of Bob Taft (Mr Republican) from the time I learned to talk. About eight months, that is.

  29. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    June 11th, 2013 @ 5:50 pm You are right Bob, Mark Steyn making way too much sense.

  30. Dai Alanye
    June 11th, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    Here’s the simple way to put it: Snowden is as much of a hero as Bradley Manning, but Obama’s intrusion into our privacy is unforgivable. In other words, jail the one, impeach and convict the other.

  31. Cmate
    June 11th, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

    Indeed, and I seriously doubt this is the first breach.

  32. Cmate
    June 11th, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

    And don’t forget, Clinton was offered Bin Laden for arrest and refused – 3 times.

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  34. John Duncan
    June 12th, 2013 @ 6:14 am

    God bless you.

  35. Veritas
    June 12th, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

    So where ARE all these *secrets* Snowden is accused of having released?…hmm?…I’ll wait.

    On the contrary, he’s described only a process, and has attempted to put in context the scope and scale of the dragnet; quite a bit different from the todler hero of the left: Bradley Manning, who ACTUALLY DISCLOSED SECRETS! Remember?

    The establishment is looking for a scapegoat: democrats to give cover to the emperor; republicans because they (and democrats) approved of the NSA dragnet each time its appropriation was voted upon.

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