Sunday, July 06, 2014

Snowden: It's treason then, Master Jedi

The Declaration of Independence was treason. It ends with the well known phrase "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor". This isn't flowery rhetoric but plain fact. By signing the document, the Founders had committed treason. If captured by the British, they would be hanged.

I mention this because of the silly debate about whether Edward Snowden is a "hero" or a "traitor". It's the typical black-and-white nonsense of today's news. Of course Snowden is a traitor to our current government. The only question is whether he's also a hero.

I personally think Snowden is a hero. I think widespread warrantless surveillance rummaging through our personal effects (metadata) is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Had I seen that Verizon order, I would've leaked it, too. Snowden put his life, fortune and sacred honor on the line to defend our unalienable rights. If the government he betrayed catches him, his freedom if not his life will be forfeit.

I know many who disagree with me, on either technical grounds (there's sufficient oversight) or philosophical grounds (he broke his oath). They may be correct -- but you still have to acknowledge that Snowden is a passionate defender of rights.

I figure that George Lucas dramatized this in Episode III, when Mace Winu (Snowden) shows up to arrest Emperor Palpatine (Alexander):

"In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor."
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
"The Senate will decide your fate."
"I am the Senate."
"Not yet."
"It's treason, then."

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