Washington DC (Storch Report) — I saw Snowden, the movie, last night and it was excellent, capturing precisely what whistle-blower Edward Snowden did for a nation, exposing the crimes the National Security Agency committed in violating, rather than upholding, the Constitution of the United States.
Instead of receiving an award for his acts, Snowden was charged with espionage and is today a fugitive from justice living in Russia.
Following the inauguration of President-elect Trump, Snowden should be welcomed home with a pardon, a plea bargain, or some form of clemency and given the highest presidential award for his service.
In order to provide the great service he did for his country serving as a whistle blower and exposing the runaway intelligence-gathering by NAS he may have committed a crime, and the very government who committed the greater crimes than he want him to come home and face the charges, while they face none.
A panel appointed by President Obama following the disclosures, issued a powerful indictment of the agency’s invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of it’s operations. But no one was accused of a crime, nor served the time.
James Clapper Director of the NSA denied during Congressional testimony that the agency was collecting information on US citizens, thus committing perjury.
The Foreign International Security Act (FISA) was what NSA operated under, a rubber stamp procedure issued under the courts.
When Obama was elected he said, “This administration stands on the side of those that want to disclose not withhold.” But that proved to be part of Obama’s hypocrisy, his duplicity and the disingenuous rhetoric the Americans heard for eight years.
At the time Obama defended NSA when the programs were revealed by Snowden.
The runaway spying by the NSA gathered 3.1 billion pieces of information on US citizens as compared to, among many other countries data, 1.5 billion pieces of information on Russia.
Anyone knows who served in NSA, and as the film astutely depicts, ‘one does not tell truth to power,’ or they are relegated to positions of undesirability.
The film depicts Snowden as a patriot throughout, nevertheless he was charged in a criminal complaint with two violations of the Espionage Act involving unauthorized communication of classified information, and a charge of theft of government property.
Those three charges carry prison sentences of 10 years each, and more could be tacked on, adding up to a life sentence, and that’s the price he could pay for serving his country as a patriot doing the right thing.
On June 23 of 2013 I wrote a column headlined “Snowden Has Done Americans Justice By Exposing Obama’s Spy Network.”
However, I said at the time “he went about it in the wrong way.”
After researching the facts and reviewing the film several times, I have come to the conclusion he disclosed what he had to as a patriot the only way he could with any form of impact and did so cleverly and with intellect. Others tried before to do it the so called right way and failed.
To prove a point, this scandal came on the heels of Obama’s domestic IRS scandal of targeting and harassing conservatives, in particular the Tea Party – monitoring of emails, phone calls of AP reporters and criminal charges of reporters. Once again no one within the government was charged, or lost their job.
The film captures and exposes a greater crime than the crime of a whistle blower revealing the criminal acts of the United States Government failing to uphold the Constitution of the United States. The film deserves a raking of 10 out of 10. It is well filmed, told, delivered, portrayed and acted.
To date Snowden has received the Sam Adams Award in 2013, the Right Livelihood Award in 2014 and the Stuttgart Peace Prize in 2014.
Trump should pardon and welcome home Edward Snowden and award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
And the Obama administration should be ashamed of itself for using NSA to politicize ‘hacking by the Russians’ to influence the recent election and use it in order to help Clinton and his own diminishing legacy to de-legitimize the presidency of Trump.
It is a cheap shot.
Revised 8:15 pm 1/8/17