“I don’t see myself as a hero,” says Edward Snowden, the man who leaked the secret of the U.S. military’s massive spying against the American people.
I disagree. Snowden was an insider, and he was comfortably rewarded for going with the flow. He had a home in Hawaii. He earned about $200,000 per year. All he had to do to keep that comfortable life was keep his head down, do his job, and not say anything.
Instead, Snowden chose to do the difficult thing. He gave up his money. He gave up his home. He gave up his comfort. He did it to warn the American people that our liberty is in danger.
What Snowden has been able to share with the world so far shows that the Obama Administration’s decision to keep following the Big Brother spying policies of George W. Bush is not just a matter of a small sacrifice of privacy for the reassurance of a little security. It is a matter of basic liberty. A people who cannot make a telephone call, cannot send a private message, cannot make a simple purchase without the reasonable belief that a government spy is watching, are a people who cannot be truly free. Democracy cannot survive a surveillance state this titanic in scale.
Like those of us who write for Irregular Times, Edward Snowden once was full of hope that President Obama would undo the massive damage to Americans’ constitutional rights. It didn’t take long for him to realize that his trust had been misplaced. Now, he advises us, “You can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act.”
As a result of his leadership, Edward Snowden is in serious danger. He is holed up in Hong Kong, hoping that he will be able to evade his old employers, America’s spymasters. Snowden has literally put his life on the line, to sound the alarm, so that the American people can know what’s really going on in their country, so that they can act.
Snowden has sacrificed everything to enable you to do your part. Will you pick up the torch, or will you allow the light of liberty to die?
Americans who care about their liberty will take action. Tomorrow morning, we will outline some options about where to start.