A Patriot in King Putin’s Court

Tom Janssen - The Netherlands - Snowden and Putin - English - Snowden ,Putin, basic rights and Putin

Well, it looks like Mr. Snowden might be speaking Russian pretty soon. Mr. Snowden applied for asylum today in Moscow. Vladimir Putin, the Russian Czar, said this about Mr.Snowden’s potential asylum: “If he wants to go somewhere and someone will take him, go ahead. If he wants to stay here, there is one condition – he must stop his work aimed at bringing harm to our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my mouth.”

I hope Mr. Snowden isn’t being forced to take asylum in Russia due to pressure from the Russian government. If you know any of the history of Putin’s reign as dictator, then you’re well aware of the various political prisoners that have stood up to the Russia regime. It is ironic how Putin’s government is willing to allow for Mr. Snowden to stay there, but if he was Russian he would be probable hauled off to some prison camp in Siberia: Russian whistleblowers are often attacked – one, the anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, is currently on trial and another, the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, died in prison.

Mr.Snowden’s actions were patriotic, but I’m afraid his actions will be distorted because of his potential asylum in Russia. People might see him as a Benedict Arnold for sure now. Yet, we should not look down on Mr.Snowden. What he did was magnanimous—he has sacrificed his family, friends, and his life in the name of patriotism. Think about it for second: wouldn’t the government label anyone who reveals information that shows the government corrupting the constitution of the United States or civil liberties of the American citizens as a traitor?Would that person get a fair trial in the US?

Snowden’s act showed us that the government does not give a damn about the constitution or our privacy. Our phone calls, internet activtity, and emails are all be saved, and the government is forming a digital profile of each of us. The government is now reasonably suspicious of all of us. If you dissent, then you’re going to be watched. Snowden’s revelations were important, and we should be outraged about the lack privacy that we have. We are the private sector, they are the public sector. If anyone should be an open book then it should be them. Yet, they do things in secret. So much for transparency, huh, Barack.

A patriot warns us about these things, knowing he will lose everything he has ever known. He does for love country and countrymen. I may be wrong…but I doubt it.

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