Friday, June 21, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #113 -Part 9

Hero Award: Edward Snowden

I said last week I was going to talk more about the NSA spying, and I am, but I'm going to start by giving out a Hero Award, given as the occasion arises to someone who just does the right thing, whether big or small.

This week, as you might have guessed, the award goes to Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and former employee of the defense contractor Booz-Allen-Hamilton. He is, as I expect you know, the individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided to the Guardian, a leading newspaper in the UK, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

In a subsequent interview with the paper, he said does not fear the consequences of going public, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. "I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me." Both of which have come true in recent days as pundits delight in pop psychology speculation and government flacks try desperately to change the subject from the leaks to the leaker.

As for Snowden, he said "I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets."

The words of a hero.


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