Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Snowden versus Bergdahl

Snowden was working for the NSA, he claims now, as an operative and not just an analyst.  He became concerned about the extensive amount of data the agency was collecting on American citizens who were not suspected of terrorism.  Clearly, what the NSA is and has been doing is a violation of our Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless searches without probable cause.  I don't care what courts or agencies or politicians have approved this kind of action, it is wrong.

"If you are not doing anything wrong, what are you afraid of?" they ask.

I ask, "If I'm not doing anything wrong, why are you investigating me?  If you don't have evidence of a crime, what are you looking for?  I do not know the Power Ball numbers."

In this case, I believe, it is the government agency that is engaging in criminal activity.  But there's a law, right, that allows them to do that?  I suppose you could pass a law to make murder legal for certain people -- rather like the police in some places think we have done.  It's still murder. 

So, Snowden, to me, looks like a whistle-blower, and whistle-blowers are supposed to be protected.  Yet he had to flee his country to avoid immediate incarceration and prosecution.  Is he a hero?  I'd like to know the truth.  The people who want Snowden prosecuted are the ones who have been involved in illegal data mining.  I would like to see someone go to jail for that.  I'd really like to see Snowden allowed to return to his country.  If he committed a crime, I'd like to know what it was.  If he didn't, I'd like for him to live as a free man and get the hero's welcome that he deserves.

I find that I cannot believe what this government says about Edward Snowden. 

On the other hand, we have Bowe Bergdahl who was not happy with his role in the military.  He looks a lot more like a defector than a POW.  He may have collaborated with the Taliban.  Some of his unit is saying he was a deserter.  All that remains to be seen.

Why is he being treated differently than Snowden?  Why are they calling Bergdahl a hero and Snowden a traitor?  Bergdahl, if it can be determined that he left in order to join up with the Taliban -- and I'm not saying he did, should be shot.  I don't know because this has all been done, except for the big photo op at the White House, surreptitiously.  Our elected representatives in Congress were not informed of what was going on -- which may have been unlawful. 

What I do know about this is that we negotiated with a terrorist organization, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, in violation of our laws.  We released known terrorists whose capture was at the risk of American blood, and, in fact, some of our people may have been killed or wounded taking these ragheaded gangsters alive.  Now, they are back with their people, and every American overseas is just a little bit less secure than they were a few days ago because terrorists believe we might negotiate for the release of a kidnapped citizen.

One wonders.  One wonders if Ambassador Christopher Stevens had been taken alive, would these or other terrorists been released in exchange for him?

I find that I cannot believe what this government says about Bowe Bergdahl, any more than I can believe their story about Benghazi.

One last observation, I don't think that we can draw any conclusions from the behavior of Robert Bergdahl.  The Washington Post, I think it was, described him as "fiercely intelligent".  What that conjures up for me is a picture of an arrogant, argumentative type who thinks he is smart because other people get tired of trying to talk sense to him.  I could be wrong.  I'm just reacting to the phrase.  He could be a really good guy and kindred spirit.  He was a UPS man, and he has workin' man hands.  In any case, he's more than a little flaky and doesn't appear to be a particularly stable person so I would not try to read too much into his bizarre performance at the White House.

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