What is a traitor?

In the wake of yet another terrorist attack (or three), it didn’t take much flailing about before news outlets landed on reruns of old arguments of whether blame for all that’s wrong in the world can be placed on whistleblower and accused traitor Edward Snowden.

With current and former CIA directors calling for his head and attempting to place the collective angst about these “successful” terrorist attacks on Snowden’s shoulders, you have to shake your head. John Brennan, the current CIA director, explains why Snowden and others who expose the government’s actions are so harmful to society:

In the past several years, because of a number of unauthorized disclosures and a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists, there have been some policy and legal and other actions that make our ability collectively, internationally to find these terrorists much more challenging.

I do hope that this is going to be a wake-up call particularly in areas of Europe where I think there has been a misrepresentation of what the intelligence security services are doing by some quarters that are designed to undercut those capabilities.

Although Snowden “unauthorized disclosures” have undoubtedly made the government’s job harder, that’s a far cry from treason. And for crying out loud, does Brennan really think our memories are so short that we think that providing unfettered intelligence security services in particular areas of Europe is the answer to providing freedom and security?

Fighting bad guys is supposed to be hard. The Bill of Rights isn’t there to protect us from bad guys, per se; it is there to protect us from the government. An innocent man in prison for a crime he didn’t commit is not considered acceptable and necessary collateral damage in a free country. We as free people must refuse to cast a net so wide that good people are taken down with the bad. ​

Yes, John Brennan, Edward Snowden made your job harder. He calls you out when you lie.  He calls you out when you break the law. Law enforcement’s job would be easier if there were no Miranda rights, no habeas corpus, and really, no Bill of Rights. Being that the definition of a traitor is someone who betrays a principle or his country – Mr. Brennan, Mr. Woosley, Mr. Clapper, et. al. would be better served searching for traitors in the mirror.

Our laws are based on the constitution – a document intended to provide us a framework to prevent our government from becoming too powerful, and in the end, violating our rights just like the ‘bad guys’ it claims to protect us from.  Bringing the surveillance community’s actions to the American public doesn’t make Edward Snowden a traitor.  It makes him ever as much a patriot as any that protested and fought against British tyranny.

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