July 23, 2013
There are a number of narratives being floated by the usual suspects to attempt to demonstrate that Edward Snowden is a traitor who has betrayed secrets vital to the security of the United States. All the arguments being made are essentially without merit. Snowden has undeniably violated his agreement to protect classified information, which is a crime. But in reality, he has revealed only one actual secret that matters, which is the United States government’s serial violation of the fourth amendment to the constitution through its collection of personal information on millions of innocent American citizens without any probable cause or search warrant.
That makes Snowden a whistleblower, as he is exposing illegal activity on the part of the federal government. The damage he has inflicted is not against US national security, but rather on the politicians and senior bureaucrats who ordered, managed, condoned, and concealed the illegal activity.
First and foremost among the accusations is the treason claim being advanced by such legal experts as former Vice-President Dick Cheney, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Senator Dianne Feinstein. The critics are saying that Snowden has committed treason because he has revealed US intelligence capabilities to groups like al-Qaida, with which the United States is at war. Treason is, in fact, the only crime that is specifically named and described in the US constitution, in article III:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
Whether Washington is actually at war with al-Qaida is, of course, debatable since there has been no declaration of war by Congress as required by article I of the constitution. Congress has, however, passed legislation, including the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), empowering the president to employ all necessary force against al-Qaida and “associated” groups; this is what Cheney and the others are relying on to establish a state of war.
This article was posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 11:02 am