A Constitutional lawyers view on Snowden

“Ed Snowden makes the news today because the only nation that offered him refuge was Putin’s Russia. Today, the news came that Russia made him a full Russian citizen, which entitles him to immunity from extradition under the Russian Constitution. Some remain critical of Snowden. I am not one of them.

First, are the Snowden critics really arguing he should have “gone up the chain of command” when his very disclosures implicated that chain of command? Doing so would have been both futile and dangerous for him, as well as prevent Snowden’s disclosures from reaching a public entitled to know their own government was engaged in mass illicit spying on them. What normative principle requires Snowden to defer to authority when the people he was truly responsible toward were the American people? This “go up the chain” derogates American power to the Deep State and its military and political hierarchies over the American people. In America, the people are King, not the Generals. Snowden bowed to the right authority.

Second, those same critics then claim national security demanded Snowden keep the Deep State’s secrets from the American people. Here I have a simple answer, from our founders, in the inimitable words of Ben Franklin: “Those who would choose security over liberty deserve, and will get, neither.”

Snowden was a hero, is a hero, always will be a hero, because he put the American people, not the Deep State, first.”

Robert Barnes

Feel free to send this to Mike Hosking

Loading spinner
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x