Sunday, June 16, 2013


Fathers' Day.  Perhaps a time for some serious talk.  My father passed away in 1980.  He was 77.  My grandfather died in 1958, I believe, at the age of 83.  Now I'm 73 so my days are getting short.

So, it's time to talk about Edward Snowden.

SWMBO and I have, as always, followed the news reports about the leak that led to the revealing of various U.S. government programs that monitored (seemingly) every one's phone calls, emails, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets.

The leak came from Edward Snowden, a high school dropout, a college dropout, a U.S. army dropout and a dropout from the firm that employed him as some kind of I.T. analyst.

Snowden has since fled to Hong Kong and perhaps to China, or Russia, or Xanadu, sending out frequent messages about the evil perpetrated by the U.S. government and the rightness of his actions in revealing it.

Never mind that he had signed papers that committed him NOT to reveal any such information.

But unlike Dick Cheney and some others in the political firmament I do not consider Snowden a traitor.  Perhaps what he did was ill-advised but treason?  I don't think so.  Treason involves actions determined to bring down the government.  I don't think Snowden's silly act rises to that level.

As for the government's programs to gather all this information on all of us?  It appears that was not the case.  They have the ability through these various programs to do that but have they?  Apparently not.  Of the millions of people whose records have been seized only about 300 have actually been looked at or listened to.  And virtually all of those have been people linked to foreign terrorist organizations.  So, are we to ignore these connections?  Or investigate them?

I say, considering that the government claims to have subverted several terrorist plots aimed at the United States, go get 'em!  On this I am joined by politicians of both parties who have authorized these programs for years, long before Barack Obama became President.

But back to Snowden.  He appears to me (and to SWMBO) to be one of a cadre of somewhat intelligent computer nerds who can't seem to find themselves in society.  I think he, and his like, are amoral people who favor publicity over law.  They seem to feel that they are above the laws that govern the rest of us and so superior in their intellect that they can decide for all what are correct actions.

As I said to SWMBO as we were discussing this today, I think the worst punishment for Snowden would be to ignore him.  Totally.  Never mention his name again.

Of course I know that is impossible.  There is just too much media these days, good and bad, along with social fronts that I have mentioned where no one can be edited or censored or forbidden to write.

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