There are so many examples out there about how the elite in Washington D.C. are out of touch with the needs or wants of the electorate, but it was particularly striking to me when Nancy Pelosi was speaking with her base and was booed over calling Edward Snowden a criminal.
I’ve believed for some time now that many people while acknowledging that he broke the law, generally are grateful to him for revealing the extent of how far government (and I would argue corporate) surveillance has gone in our society. I now have the data to back up my belief.
Some recent polling has clearly indicated that Snowden is seen by the majority of Americans to be a whistle-blower and not a traitor:
“the latest poll from Quinnipiac University, which finds “Almost every party, gender, income, education, age and income group regards Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor.”
By a margin of 55-34 percent, voters sided with Snowden. And, in what pollsters call a “massive shift,” “voters say 45 – 40 percent the government’s anti-terrorism efforts go too far restricting civil liberties, a reversal from a January 14, 2010, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University when voters said 63 – 25 percent that such activities didn’t go far enough to adequately protect the country.”” (Truthdig.com)
It is very disturbing to me the extent to which the Obama administration is willing to go to ensnare Snowden. Today the New York Times is reporting the extent of diplomatic pressure that the administration is putting on Latin American countries to deter them from fulfilling their pledges to offer asylum.
We even ARRANGED FOR THE DETENTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA. Which is damn near an act of war! Why? To punish a young man who did something which most Americans consider to deserve legally protected whistle-blower status.
Snowden successfully revived the discussion of government surveillance of domestic communication which has been going on for quite some time from the Bush Administration’s spying on environmental and peace groups (I’ve seen this firsthand in 2004) to the revelations of the NSA using AT+T’s operations centers to divert the entire flow of internet communication to their surveillance systems. (Click HERE for an excellent and credible 2007 PBS Documentary on the subject). None of the previous revelations have been piqued the interest of the public as Snowden’s documents which have not only exposed cell phone surveillance but in some thoughtful quarters even started discussions over the role of private contractors in intelligence work.
For what it’s worth, I think it’s time for the Obama administration to heed the public will and let Snowden live out his life on a beach in Caracas, Venezuela. I think he’s earned it.
You might want to watch this two minute video HERE from Olvier Stone and the ACLU.