After nine years of living in Russia, Edward Snowden, the former NSA Analyst has been given Russian citizenship.
My opinion of Mr. Snowden has not changed. From the beginning, I believed he was a traitor, on the same level as CIA traitor Aldrich Ames. He should have been brought back to the US, tried, convicted and punished according to the law.
Many were applauding him because he exposed what they considered an egregious wrong being committed in the intel community and he had an obligation to expose it. And some considered him a hero because they regarded it as a strike against the Obama administration. I consider both assumptions to be amateur in thinking.
For the sake of debate, what if he did feel he had an obligation to expose a wrong? Well, he did have options inside the system. The Inspector General’s office in DOD responsible for NSA, notifying a Republican Senator or Congressmen were options he could have taken, if there were indeed legitimate concerns. But he didn’t make a move to contact any of them. Granted, he most likely have lost his clearance…Let’s be honest.
So, he decided to pack his bags, take a plane from Hawaii armed with a slew of classified information. He went first to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he was supposedly stranded. His final destination according to him was to be Ecuador, but, somehow, the fates were against him. Or, he just made that up..
A few words on traitors. If you go through history, very few do it for the betterment of the country they betray. Some do it for ideological reasons; Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were devoted Communists. Others, money: Aldrich Ames wanted money, a bigger house and car. Nothing can convince me Snowden did it because he feared the direction this country was headed and wanted to help right it.. In the book written by Glenn Greenwald, he specifically took the job at an NSA installation to get the info he most likely imparted to Russian authorities. (And I have no doubt about that).
It’s people like Snowden who constantly put this country in danger. The intel community is not a friendly or fair place. I mean to say, its mission doesn’t allow ‘fairness’. It’s hard hitting, it’s full of deception, sometimes disgusting and evil practices. But, that’s what’s necessary to keep this country safe. WE SPY.. period.
What? Do some think I’m being too harsh? Well, this is done everyday in every part of the world. Everyone spies on everyone else. Whether it be military, economic, or industrial secrets, to name a few, all countries have an intelligence agency to not only protect, but to manipulate foreign sources.
Information is King. And always will be.
Snowden recognized that. He entered into Intelligence for the information.
Working in the intelligence community is not what it has been portrayed by Hollywood of constant tension, always a crisis looming and near annihilation events. Sometimes it’s boring as hell but there are times where you wonder if the world is going to hell or if it’ll even exist the next day.
Having said that, the intel community has changed drastically since my days in the 1980’s there. Now, it has become closer to the KGB. I am not using hyperbole; Obama did much damage to it and made it what it is today: an entity which is weaponized against the people it’s supposed to protect.
If our intel community is ever to get back to its original mission, it’s going to need a thorough cleaning and become more particular about those they bring on. And it needs to be re-worked from top to bottom
There are always Snowdens in this world.
Protecting our country from them is paramount..