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PRISM Whistleblower’s Heart In Right Place, Still a Traitor

Try to put PRISMgate, the ugly spying, the evil mass surveillance and the gross politics aside momentarily. Please try, because we’ve got a real problem here from which we mustn’t let ourselves be distracted: our government cannot keep top secrets secret! Tip top secrets at that.

We live in a competitive, adversarial world. Transparency is a nice happy thing for Google to tout but our government absolutely must have the capacity to keep certain things secret, they are proving to be remarkably ineffective at that lately, and that needs to be corrected for our sake and that of our allies who by now must get pretty iced up when attempting to have candid conversations with our diplomats given our sieve-like reputation. That our government does things most of us would disdain does not outweigh the need for it to be able to keep things secret, not by a longshot.

Sure, it’s tricky to keep a thing a lot of people are involved with, a thing that rubs some of those people the wrong way like this PRISM mess, secret forever, but we cannot cultivate an environment that leads citizens to believe that if they expose the government with its pants down engaging in something unpopular or even reprehensible that they will be given a pass. Would another way to deter the practice be to avoid engaging in things like PRISM? Maybe, and if that’s your concern, it’s on you to correct that with your votes as this flew smoothly through Congress, your elected officials now making a bipartisan effort to defend the NSA.

In the interest of deterring further breaches and not making it more difficult for our government to protect us from its enemies, however much political capital it would cost to fine, imprison or hang Edward Snowden high, treason and espionage are in the books for a good reason (treason is actually the only crime defined by the Constitution) and he should be dealt with accordingly. Especially if the man in question is or was ever a member of our military, the NSA, the CIA and our defense contractors, like this guy – who by the way had EFF and Tor stickers on his laptop! He’s got those stickers on his laptop and top secret clearance? What the hell is that? EFF and Tor stickers, that’s more of a red flag than stickers of actual red flags! Man..

So, word is he’s currently hiding in Hong Kong, might make a run to Iceland. Eddie seems uninterested in answering for what his “good conscience” told him to do. So, mount up, either reel him in or find and take care of him in a manner that gives the next guy some pause before breaking out his trusty USB stick, starting Tor and uploading spicy state secrets to the whole world. Opting not to do that for political considerations is wrong and it does not correct anything, rather it compounds a problem.

Doug Simmons