published Friday, June 28th, 2013

Strange bedfellows: Snowden a hero or a traitor?

Ron Hart
  • photo
    This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/The Guardian)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Should Edward Snowden be arrested?

While our angry and embarrassed U.S. government plays "Where's Waldo?" trying to capture NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the jury is still out on whether he is a hero or traitor.

It is one thing to reveal our government's domestic secret surveillance program. It is quite another to give our intelligence to enemies around the world.

Loosely defined, a "whistleblower" is someone who hurts the other political party; a "traitor" is someone who hurts yours.

What fascinates me about this story is the divergence of opinion and the strange bedfellows it has created. Loony liberal Michael Moore and far-right Glenn Beck are actually in agreement, cheering Snowden on. Maybe it is a manifestation of their paranoia, or maybe they have a well-placed mistrust of government.

For now, liberals and libertarians are siding with Snowden, while RINOs and big-government Democrats call for his head. When the whole of D.C.'s political class agrees on something, it scares me.

Republicans dislike Obama because he is not Ronald Reagan, but they love their military-industrial contractor complex. Democrats are upset with Obama because he is not candidate Obama.

Men seem more upset about Internet and cellphone snooping than women -- we have more browser history we'd like to remain secret.

Snowden is scared because Obama's O-bots have a history of going after whistleblowers who defy him. They now like going after any media that questions them. Obama long ago ceded any moral high ground, Democrats only care about maintaining power and this threatens their power.

The media remains in the tank for Obama. Instead of backing Glenn Greenwald, the journalist in England who professionally broke the Snowden story, NBC's David Gregory suggested he be arrested. If the U.S. mainstream media did their job, foreign journalists would not be the ones breaking the stories.

The $1.8 billion NSA snooping facility was built in Mormon stronghold Utah. CBS is already blaming the NSA scandal on President Romney.

This drama is playing out like a John Grisham novel. If I were Snowden and heard buzzing overhead when I arrived in Ecuador, I wouldn't presume it to be mosquitoes. Drone Ranger Obama could be after another U.S. citizen abroad.

I am pulling for Snowden as long as he does not give away any of our major secrets.

Let's not expect Russia or other countries to help our government when we were spying on them. Our PC establishment has captured and punished Martha Stewart and Paula Deen, yet we could not avert the Boston bombing even when Russian authorities gave us a warning on the Chechnyan brothers.

Suddenly, upon Obama's appeal for extradition, Putin has become a civil libertarian. Obama, who boasted he was going to make other countries love us, looks hapless. If our government cannot free Justin Beiber's monkey from German authorities or get back the Super Bowl ring Putin stole from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, it's doubtful they can get Snowden from Russia.

Our government fears Snowden may be working for China. Because of that same government's lack of financial discipline, we all will be working for China in the future just to pay off U.S. debts.

Obama is AWOL while his O-bots try to distance him from all the scandals. He has a $60 million trip to Africa and his family spends the summer on Martha's Vineyard. I am not saying he does not deserve to do things with his daughters. Maybe for their birthdays he can give them the Jonas Brothers' phone and email records.

If this becomes a high and inside fastball thrown by Snowden to back the government off the plate and make it rethink what it is doing, then he has done us a service. Hopefully he makes the government rethink how they are treading on the Fourth Amendment and the Fourth Estate.

Perhaps the NSA, DOJ, Obama's White House and the IRS didn't violate any laws in doing what they did to us, but I find it more troubling that they did not have to.

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at or visit

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
EaTn said...

Snowden a hero or traitor depends on how much secret information he spills to benefit our adversaries China and Russia. His information on secret eavesdropping on US citizens has on the surface made him a hero and sickened us on our own government.

June 28, 2013 at 7:47 a.m.
limric said...

I'm sure there are many that are as disturbed as I to read that Washington and its complicit propaganda mouthpiece (the mainstream media) have completely diverted the debate about a patently unconstitutional & highly secretive invasion of privacy to personal attacks on the one person that achieved what the president promised as a candidate; bring transparency and honesty back to a thoroughly corrupt govt.

The traitor is not Edward Snowden, it is the EIC and the corporate lackeys residing in the District of Columbia.

I vote hero 100%

June 29, 2013 at 8:56 a.m.
joneses said...

Snowden is not the embarrassment to America. Hussein obama is the embarrassment. The president of Russia and Ecuador basically told hussein obama to go piss up a rope. Hussein obama has the least respect from any of our friends and enemies.

June 29, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.