by Patrick Kane
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden in being charged with espionage by the US Government.
While I believe all that needs be said regarding the state’s reaction to Edward Snowden can be neatly packaged in the horrifically ironic statement above, a word quota obliges me to elaborate further. It’s a frightening world we live in which the Government has the audacity to charge someone with a crime that they themselves are guilty of on an exponentially larger scale. This, coupled with the fact that the US Government didn’t even bother to dress up their charges with a clever re-wording of it, is particularly disturbing to me. While their charge of espionage against Snowden reads more like a headline from the Onion than a serious legal claim, no one was concerned about the irony of their clownish accusations against Snowden enough to bother changing them. The shameless nature in which they vulgarly flaunt their hypocrisy is almost as worrisome to me as the clandestine crimes they have committed against the American public. In short, when the Government feels they no longer have to sugar coat and lie to the public about their crimes, you know you’re totally screwed.
The act of espionage implies giving sensitive information to enemies of the state. Snowden stated in one of his interviews that he could have easily sold information regarding the NSA’s surveillance program to a hostile government. It would indeed have been very easy and lucrative for Snowden to do so, however he chose to release this sordid information to the American public because he did not want to harm his country. Even though doing this would have saved him from the witch hunt the country he chose to spare is conducting against him. This being said, by charging Snowden with espionage, the Obama Administration is saying that the American people are the enemies of the state. While I am not surprised by this, I am nonetheless disturbed by their candor.
I can see the half baked argument justifying Snowden’s charges: that by going public with his leak, Snowden inadvertently gave sensitive (embarrassing) information to enemies of the United States. However, let’s not pretend that if in some test tube world Snowden had only leaked information about the NSA’s spy programs to US citizens that the State would be treating him any different.
Fun Fact: Barack Obama has charged more people under the Espionage Act than all other Presidents combined.