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“He’s a traitor,” Boehner said in an interview with ABC. “The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it’s a giant violation of the law.”
Mike Rogers (R-MI), Steve King (R-IA), and Peter King (R-NY) agree with Boehner. They want Edward Snowden arrested and disappeared.
Snowden is a former NSA and Booz-Allen employee who leaked classified information to Glenn Greenwald at the UK Guardian which exposed secret orders by the Obama administration to blanket-collect metadata on millions of electronic communications made by Americans.
Boehner's response to the leaks by Snowden was similar to comments by James Clapper, Obama's Director of National Intelligence. Though no examples were given, Clapper mentioned....“the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair, Diane Feinstein (D-CA) concurs with others praising and defending Big Brother....“I don't look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it's an act of treason,” “He violated the oath, he violated the law. It's treason.”
On the other hand, Glenn Beck and Michael Moore agree that Snowden is a hero, a patriot. Strange bedfellows, indeed. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said the secret NSA program leaked by Snowden needs to be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court.
Online petitions are being circulated and money is being raised right now in defense of Edward Snowden. No one knows if Hong Kong will honor requests from Big Brother U.S.A to extradite Snowden back to the U.S. Whatever the outcome.....there's no doubt in my mind that Snowden has what virtually all elected officials in America do not have.....courage. It took courage for Snowden to take the steps he did....whether one agrees with what he did or not. Courage is in scant supply in Congress and the White House.
Which brings me to the primary objection by those calling Snowden a traitor. "The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are", Boehner said.
Now imagine for a second that you are an activist within Islamic extremism post 9-11. Would you, or would you not, have already concluded that.....most freaking likely.....the U.S. was eavesdropping and spying on.....EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY?
What Boehner, Feinstein and others want us to believe is that leaking information about a classified NSA metadata dragnet program of American communications will come as a big surprise to Islamic extremists, thus putting "Americans at risk."
In the Boehner/Feinstein thought camp.....our "enemies" are so clueless that they would never in a million years think that America's Big Brother was either willing or able to vacuum up every electronic communication made in order to catch them before they do their violent deeds.
Now, be honest, how ridiculous does that seem?
So, no....our "enemies" already assume that all communications are being monitored, the proof being Osama Bin Laden's specific efforts to avoid being monitored before he was executed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan.
What Snowden made known by leaking did not put Americans at risk, nor did it inform our adversaries about U.S. capabilities. What the leak has done, however, is put elected officials who knew, and have known, about the NSA's communication vacuuming....on the defensive. Snowden's leak is a big embarrassment to Executive and Legislative Branch leaders, who have been working together in secrecy in direct violation of the 4th amendment prohibition against warrantless seizures...for over 10 years.
I must respond to Senators and House Speakers throwing around the word "traitor." Edward Snowden is allegedly a traitor because he embarrassed Congress and the President by revealing exactly what it is that they have been doing collecting electronic communications...yes, willy-effing-nilly. The embarrassment comes from the huge divide between what Americans know about the implementation of the Patriot Act and what has just been revealed about that implementation by Edward Snowden.
Embarrassing the government is not traitorous activity.
The real "traitors" are the guys from the Bush administration in 2001-2002 who unilaterally and secretively decided to begin violating Americans' 4th amendment rights every day through the wholesale collection of all electronic communications without judicial warrants. Bush's reactionaries purposely, and in secret, conspired to violate every citizen's 4th amendment rights against unlawful searches and seizures. That's what traitors do.
The people who expose what authentic traitors have done are, or should be, national heroes.
President Obama had an opportunity early in his presidency to reverse Big Brother's illegalities, but he chose to "look forward" rather than "backwards." Choosing not to prosecute, or even investigate, the traitors of the previous administration has led to Obama's expansion of those illegalities and his presidency's identification with those illegalities.
Now Obama says the American people have to choose which "trade-offs" we want to make between privacy and security..."You can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience," Obama said. "We're going to have to make some choices as a society. ... There are trade-offs involved.".which sounds an awful lot like George W. Bush's riff on the Constitution...."it's a goddamned piece of paper" or the more widely spoken "the Constitution is not a suicide compact."