“I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
Those are very disturbing and sobering words coming from Edward Snowden, a traitor in the eyes of many of our elected leaders, a hero to those who champion privacy from Big Brother’s watchful eye.
It is now indisputable that the Patriot Act, signed into law by President Bush as a response to terrorist threats here at home, has slowly eroded the last vestiges of our freedoms. The “war on terror” seems to be a one-sided war we’ve waged on ourselves, ultimately sacrificing our privacy when surfing the Internet, communicating by email or by phone, conducting everyday what should be our private business and no one else’s, least of all our own government’s.
Knowing what he would be sacrificing to inform the public, Snowden is clearly not a self-serving criminal, or traitor. He doesn’t fit the profile of a self-absorbed, narcissistic deceiver.
The big deception lies with our own government secretly collecting data on everyone in this great country. We the People need to put our elected leaders, both past and present, on trial because they all have some explaining to do. I have great sympathy for Snowden, who has put his life on the line to awaken us to the dangers imposed on us as a nation.
Knowing that Big Brother is watching and listening shouldn’t deter anyone from speaking out against the tyranny that has become our government. When did it become unpatriotic to disagree with blatant disregard of our privacy?
Not too late to fire Gee
As a Roman Catholic student at Ohio State University, I am appalled by the board of trustees’ acceptance of OSU President Gordon Gee’s “retirement” notice.
If Gee had made derogatory comments about Asians, Jews, African-Americans, gays, Muslims, Hispanics or other groups, the board likely would have summarily fired him. Rightfully so. Such deprecating remarks are offensive. Intolerance — particularly from the president of one of America’s largest universities — should not be condoned.
Why then did the board condone Gee’s anti-Catholic comments? Is it somehow different, or more acceptable, to denigrate Catholics than other groups?
Twenty-five percent of Americans are Roman Catholic. Although the university does not publish religious affiliation statistics, it is reasonable to assume that Ohio State’s student population falls near that range. Does the board not care that Gee may have offended a fourth of those enrolled at OSU, plus a significant portion of non-Catholics who find such comments repugnant?
The trustees are short-sighted hypocrites. It is not too late to stand up for what is right. In the strongest possible terms, the board should now condemn Gee’s comments as not reflective of Ohio State’s principles, and immediately terminate his employment. It will not adversely affect Gee’s comfortable retirement, but it will go a long way toward re-establishing trust with the trustees.