Op-Ed: Lawmakers suggest Snowden was Russian asset

Posted Jan 20, 2014 by Justin King
A bi-partisan effort to scare the American people into ending their opposition to the surveillance state is operating at full speed. Two lawmakers have used innuendo to suggest that Snowden was working for Russian intelligence services.
Edward Snowden speaks at the 2013 Sam Adams Award dinner in Moscow.
Edward Snowden speaks at the 2013 Sam Adams Award dinner in Moscow.
In the very same interview that Senator Diane Feinstein suggests that Edward Snowden was a Russian spy, she goes on to suggest that the American people need not worry about National Security Agency’s (NSA) domestic spying programs because the people that have access to it are
very strictly vetted and professional people.
This would be the same type of vetting that, according to her, allowed a Russian spy access to millions of top secret documents. It is doubtful that this will make Americans sleep any easier.
The very idea that Snowden was working for the Russians is idiotic at best. If the Russian intelligence service had an asset within the National Security Agency, the last thing it would do is order him to pull a metaphorical smash and grab on the agency’s storefront window. A person with Snowden’s access would be able to install software to allow the Russian intelligence service, Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti (FSB), to access the data being compiled on American citizens. Pulling Snowden out and publishing documents he acquired would cause any electronic surveillance measures he installed to be compromised by the resulting investigation.
The American people can only assume that these lawmakers are either knowingly lying to the American people, or that whoever is feeding these lawmakers their information is having a good laugh at their expense.
The NSA program could have ended without much fuss. It has already been admitted that in the decade or so it has been in existence, it has not stopped a single terrorist attack. Rather than just coming out and admitting the NSA’s actions are unconstitutional and immoral, the government is launching a full-scale attempt to demonize Edward Snowden.
Instead of calling for an end to spying on his constituents, Republican Mike Rogers echoed President Obama by referring to it as
legal and proper.
Justifying a government action by simply stating that the government created a legal framework for it to operate under is the first cry of a tyrant.
Slavery was once legal and proper in the United States, as was the removal and confinement of Native Americans. Legality in relation to government actions has nothing to do with morality. If the legislative body passed a law tomorrow stating that the first-born child of every family had to be thrown into a volcano, it would be legal and proper under the law. To invoke Godwin’s law, yes, everything the Nazi regime did to minorities in their country was grounded in legal framework. Using the current stance of lawmakers as a guideline, it can only be assumed that Congressman Rogers would find those actions as “legal and proper.”
Even though neither of the lawmakers thought to backup their assertions with any facts, other lawmakers were found on the bandwagon of innuendo. Republican Mike McCaul said that he believed Snowden was cultivated by a foreign power. He also offered no proof.
American news agencies allowed the lawmakers to make whatever statement they wished without asking for a single corroborating piece of evidence.
McCaul continued his unsubstantiated attack by saying
I personally believe that he was cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did. And he -- I would submit, again, that he's not a hero by any stretch. He's a traitor.
It has been said that in the kingdom of lies, truth is treason. By doing the lawmakers’ job for them, and protecting the interests and rights of the American people, Edward Snowden committed the ultimate form of treason: he stood up to a government that seeks to establish a surveillance state where every move is monitored and recorded so that it can later be used against the citizenry. In a return submission to Mr. McCaul, one might suggest that the real traitor is the person who is attempting to undermine the rights and privacy of the American people.