Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Hypocrisy Of The Political Class Re: Snowden + What Price Will We Pay For Snowden's Revelations?

IRS has ruled Obama can write off the first half of his second term as a total loss...Leno

  • Several weeks ago I wrote a piece asking the question whether Snowden is a hero or traitor. As a result of recent revelations, I find myself questioning his real motives. The recent revelations include his admission yesterday he took the job as a NSA contractor to specifically get access to classified information and documents. It's also been reported he plans on leaking more classified information.  Moreover, take a look at his travel plans. They've included such "freedom" loving nations as Communist China, Russia, Cuba and Ecuador. Who knows where he will eventually end up but I believe he's showed his hand. The bottom line for me is he's also jeopardized our national security. If he took an oath or pledge to protect classified information, then he also violated that oath. In other words, Snowden had access to classified information because he swore not to reveal it and then he did. That's a crime.
  • Moreover, there are no guarantees that the release of this information could end up in the hands of terrorist or terrorist nations.
  • But, for a moment, let's take a look at the overt hypocrisy coming from the political class.
  • Eight years ago, former White House national security advisor under Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, was busted for intentionally removing and destroying copies of classified documents. He was unauthorized to do so. In fact, he stole this information from the National Archives. He stuck the documents down his pants, in his socks and for all we know, up his ass. What was his punishment? Basically a slap on the wrist. He received some probation, a fine and he was stripped of his national security clearance for a whopping three years.
  • More recently, we've witnessed James Clapper, National Intelligence Director, lie to Congress when he was asked: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" His response to that question? "No sir...Not wittingly." Yet, he has not been held accountable. There have been people held accountable for lesser lies than this bodacious one by Clapper.
  • To date, we have not seen anyone held accountable for the excesses of the IRS and DOJ. Even more disturbing, we've not seen anyone held accountable for Benghazi and Fast and Furious.
  • Keep in mind, although it appears there might be evidence of illegalities on the part of the IRS snooping, even Snowden's revelations have not shown any illegalities on the part of the NSA---at least not up to this point. In addition, unlike the IRS, there has been no evidence of political type snooping---again, at least not as of today.
  • But  I continue to remain conflicted as do many other Americans. Yes, Snowden revealed information he should not have revealed. But it was information that showed the government's massive intrusion into our lives (I also agree we knew the government did this sort of thing, but I don't believe we knew it was to such a considerable and vast extent).
  • To some degree, he did Americans a  service albeit he's going to have to pay a price. But a more serious question remains: will Americans pay a price for his revelations too?