I think we can all agree on one thing: Edward Snowden is a whistleblower. What many of us can't agree on is whether he is a traitor or a hero. And today, I know what it feels like to be called a traitor; because my own fellow liberal Democrats, my fellow progressives on the left are calling me a sellout ... for being honest. Here's the truth: I trust the government more than I trust Edward Snowden.
Where should I start? How about the fact that the American government's been obtaining phone records from as far back as 2003 when it started with AT&T and that is known by the American people. How about the fact that many of these companies provide your phone number, email, etc. to corporations which call, email and solicit your business as consumers? How about the fact that anyone can read Facebook or Twitter and that any computer geek can hack into your email? So what is the big revelation? Where is the spying?
PRISM is a program that was described to me as the government getting shoes from all of us, storing them in a huge warehouse and then when they're investigating potential crime or terrorism, they specifically look for, let's say, red patent leather shoes, size 6 1/2, with 3 inch heels, beige interior with a peep toe and bow on the back. Then they look through that information. Get it? It's not monitoring our phone calls. And in this case, they do it with both legal and Congressional approval.
And I'm not alone in my lack of fear of our government. Pew research shows that 51 percent of Americans don't mind their phone bills being obtained, and by a margin of 2 to 1, they favor security over their own privacy. As with myself, most Americans know they have nothing to fear if they have nothing to hide.
Now, let me talk about my issue with Mr. Snowden and why I do not perceive him as a hero. I don't trust him. Why? Here's my list.
A hero doesn't run, a coward does; or someone who wants their name in lights or a great book deal – which I suspect he's already signing as I write this.
I leave you with these two things America: First if the government's PRISM program or reading an email has or can save one life from a terrorist is it worth it? And second no matter how much you think our privacy is being trampled on, having lived in other countries, I can tell you from experience that on our worst day, we're freer than any other nation hands down. You can take to the bank; but you won't hear it from Mr. Snowden.
Corrected on 6/12/13: An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly identified Edward Snowden's girlfriend as a stripper. She is pole-dancer.