In my book, I spoke about the United States being the citadel of human freedom since 1776, but there have been on-going attempts to take this freedom away and one effort has involved the government itself. It has been a U.S. citizen, Edward Snowden, who has done much to expose what the United States government has been up to and for this he has had to flee from the country of his birth. That is a very sad commentary on how liberty in America has been eroded. For blowing the whistle and exposing how the NSA has been violating citizens’ privacy, Mr. Snowden is reportedly looking at a thirty-year prison sentence in the U.S.
As The Guardian reported: “The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.”
I also remember hearing a New York Times investigative reporter, in a discussion on the issues, point out that Snowden had not put anyone in danger and that the reason privacy and surveillance by government agencies like the NSA was being discussed was because of Mr. Snowden.
Edward Snowden has had to find refuge in, of all places, Russia, a place with little history of the freedom that is talked about so much in America. Now President Barack Obama is moving to deal with what Snowdon exposed. The New York Times recently reported that: “The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.”
Shouldn’t President Obama have the honesty to state that this legislative proposal has come about because Edward Snowden courageously exposed what the NSA was doing? Shouldn’t Mr. Snowden be given immunity from prosecution and be allowed back into the country of his birth, so that American freedom can exist in fact, instead of only in word and in theory?