When it came to light late last week that the NSA is allegedly data mining all Verizon subscribers, I must say I was perturbed. After all, I am a Verizon subscriber.
The government has an obligation to keep us secure from threats both domestic and foreign. But I do not see how they achieve that objective by mining my phone number. Why am I and every Verizon subscriber given the same level of scrutiny as Tamerlan Tsarnaev? If the federal government can wantonly screen every single phone number, and for that matter, every single e-mail in the country then what can’t they do? If that isn’t unreasonable search and seizure then what is? Is their any limits to their authority?
If not for Edward Snowden there’s a good chance we would never have known about these excesses.
But with that said, Snowden doesn’t exactly inspire my sympathy. If this was an act of civil disobedience then Snowden should have faced the music. He should have turned himself in, spoke his peace at trial and then taken his punishment like a man.
Instead, he flees to Hong Kong for its “spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.” That’s kind of like Humphrey Bogart going to Casablanca for its healing waters. Needless to say, Snowden has been misinformed. Apparently Snowden was unaware that Hong Kong is no longer a British territory. For someone who works in intelligence, Snowden would have failed Geopolitics 101.
Snowden’s acts warrant prosecution. But as long as we have an Attorney General who files lawsuits against states while only glancing at their offending legislation, ship guns to drug dealers in Mexico and prepared to deem a reporter an unindicted co-conspirator, I haven’t any confidence in those who are responible for carrying out justice.
I’m also uneasy about prosecuting Snowden when members of the Obama Administration see fit to leak details of the Osama bin Laden raid, namely former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Why is it OK to leak sensitive national security information if it glorifies the vanity of President Obama? Is Panetta going to be prosecuted? It’s about as likely as Obama is to abandon Obamacare.
In the grand scheme of things, I don’t trust Snowden. But given all that has happened with Benghazi, the IRS, and press intrusion with the AP and Fox News, I trust the Obama Administration even less.