June 12, 2013

Leaker Snowden crossed a line

Prior to today, Edward Snowden who leaked a lot of details about the government's secret collection of vast amounts of electronic data of citizens without a warrant or probable cause, has crossed a line.  Previously it could be argued that he was putting liberty ahead of national security. After all, what does national security matter if the principles the nation was founded on and which were enshrined in the Constitution, aren't being protected? Is the nation worth defending at that point?

The debate over those questions has gone away, the debate over whether Snowden himself was a patriot or a traitor, just went south.  There's no doubt he's a traitor now, after this:

Via the decidedly liberal partisan Washington Post, it turns out, that Snowden has started to reveal details about U.S. spying on China.  That's aiding and abetting a rival (if not adversary).
HONG KONG — Edward Snowden, the self-confessed leaker of secret surveillance documents, claimed Wednesday that the United States has mounted massive hacking operations against hundreds of Chinese targets since 2009.

The former contractor, whose work at the National Security Agency gave him access to highly classified U.S. intelligence, made the assertions in an interview with the South China Morning Post. The newspaper said he showed it “unverified documents” describing an extensive U.S. campaign to obtain information from computers in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Despite the Washington Post's political bent, it's hard to argue that Snowden is clearly sharing information with the Chinese after that South China Morning Post interview.  Snowden is no hero, he's a traitor.  China does not need to know that we are spying on them (or how).  I mean, we know it, they know it but he has damaged both the details and the deniability for America.  But that does not one thing to undercut the information he has shared about government spying on its own citizens.  That is a scandal with serious implications and needs to be investigated, and explained and discussed with all of the seriousness it deserves.  Liberty versus security deserves a lot more than a two minute drill and not to be derailed by the actions of Snowden.  After all, the spying on citizens (the AP scandal, the Prism scandal and the Verizon scandal) and the enemies list (the IRS scandal), are reminiscent of a past president who faced impeachment and ultimately resigned.  
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