Ed Snowden wants to come back to the United States. Here’s what he is reported to have said: “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home. Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide. But, if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.”
Secretary of State John Kerry said theUnited States would welcomed him: “If Mr Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today… and he should come back, and that’s what a patriot would do. A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia or Cuba. A patriot would stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people. The fact is that he can come home, but he’s a fugitive from justice which is why he is not being permitted to fly around the world.” Kerry added that “If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice.” Finally he said, “I think he’s confused. I think it’s very sad. But this is a man who has done great damage to his country.”
Rarely lately has Kerry hit the ball out of the park (don’t you just love the sports metaphors we all get trapped in) but this is a walk off home run comment right on the money. Snowden’s like a guy who committed a serious crime and doesn’t want to do the time. I don’t blame him, no one wants to go to prison but Snowden has to realize he can never come back to America except in handcuffs.
Are you surprised he doesn’t like his new found home Russia? Maybe after a taste of living under the thumb of Putin and his henchmen he realizes the so-called sins of America he wished to expose are like ant hills when compared to the mountains of abuses under dictators. If Snowden were well advised he’d come home, face trial, perhaps get lucky and get a deal, do 8 or 10 years, still get out in his thirties, after all he may have been entrapped into his folly; he was surrounded by people with an anti-American bent who abused his trust, took advantage of his naiveté and ended up sending him off to a country most normal people would prefer to avoid. He should realize he is better off in an American prison than the Russian prison he now occupies.
We all make mistakes. Snowden’s was a whopper. He got caught up in the crowd that cries out against any America action that’s is in the slightest manner less than what they deem as perfect. Reading them you’d think we were living in a dystopian country like those in the famous Apple ‘1984’ advertisement during Super Bowl XVIII. Snowden a loner succumbed to their anti-American rhetoric and gravely erred. Now he’s paying the price while they, free to travel wherever they wish, urge him on, much like those cruel men who have misguided young kids become suicide bombers.
We’re a country with a heart. He should come home; Kerry is right on the mark – Snowden’s confused, it’s sad but if he comes home he can expect to get a break, unlike he’d receive in any other country in the world considering the damage he did to our nation.
I was reading an article by Sidney Hook, a brilliant man, the other day called: “The Communist Peace Offensive.” He made some observations that I think are tangentially related to the Snowden affair. He suggests: “prestige by association is easier to gain than guilt by association.” He goes on to tell how some of the sponsors of a group running a cultural and science conference for world peace in New York City believed it was ”not Communism but Catholicism, not the Kremlin but the Vatican, threatened peace and freedom in the world” which he called “a bizarre judgment that had no relevance to the issues and anti-American orientation of the conference.”
When Hook objected to the conference’s stark anti-Americanism, its sponsors replied in the same way we hear those who beguiled Snowden reply that they are concerned: “with the sins of our own country. We live here and not abroad. Whatever the actions of Stalin we cannot affect them.” Hook pointed out that these same people had no trouble protesting British and French imperialism, Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, Chiang Kai-shek which undermined their defense that they were only concerned with home issues. So is it with the anti-Americans today who find fault with America and our allies and stay silent when faced with great horrors committed by dictators.
Snowden failed to realize there is no perfect country and that there is a scale upon which things should be judged. I too, like him, am unhappy at some of the things our country does. But when compared to others they are tiny blips and not major blots on the civil rights of us Americans. Europe, Japan and others enjoy much freedom having been under our protective umbrella; we offer a vision of hope and openness as opposed to the dark cellars that exist in some others.
I’d like to paraphrase Sarah Vaugh’s suggestion to Bill Bailey: “I know you’re to blame but ain’t that a shame Ed Snowden come on home, come on home!”