As you probably well know, I’m the last person on this blog to write about politics. Gordon has that well under control, if the first two posts of this week are any indication. On that note, I feel that I fall into the category of “politically ignorant” in quite a few ways. I’ve never voted, for one.
There are a few reasons for that, of course, such as my living overseas and then being a Canadian attending college in the States, but the fact of the matter is that I know very little about even my own government. Heck, I can tell you more about the state of the politics at DC Comics right now more than the Harper administration.
In a lot of ways, simply being friends with Gordon keeps me up to date. Well, that and the snippets of news I hear when my granddad is watching TV and I’m on my laptop. I knew about this Snowden guy, and that he’d leaked some classified info, but Gordon told me something that I didn’t know:
The government could kill this man.
Let me lay it out for you as a logical progression, with you being fully aware that I never took any sort of Introduction to Logic course in college.
- US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Bill Nelson have accused Snowden’s leaks as being an “act of treason.”
- Title 18, Part I, Chapter 115, and § 2381 of the United States Code dictates that [emphasis added]:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
- US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Bill Nelson, and any others who agree with them, are asking that Snowden be tried for treason, the first penalty of which is death.
When Gordon told me this, not in so many words, I was flabbergasted. The ridiculousness of that word aside, I was legitimately shocked because this is a man who told the citizens of his own country that they were being spied on. He let Americans know that their government has a program that can help them obtain your “email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice over IP conversations, file transfers, log-in notifications and social networking details.” Again, and I can’t approach this issue with any authority on the subject, but that is crazy to me.
While there are some people who are saying it’s unlikely he will be charged of treason, there are a large number who say he should be [same link]. This is a fact that frightens me, that there are people in positions of authority who believe that what he did is wrong enough for him to die for it.
I dedicate this Fame Day to Edward Snowden because, as uninformed as I am, I can’t help but admire him. I respect the fact that he aims to expose “the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure.” On par with that, I appreciate his stance in proclaiming that he is “neither traitor nor hero,” but simply “an American.”
As much as we tend to laugh about it, the government going well beyond their expected boundaries is a very scary thing. I applaud this man for letting people know, both in the US and otherwise, exactly how at risk their information is from being skimmed, catalogued, and possibly used by the American government. Snowden released this information to the world with full knowledge that it would be extremely difficult for him to enter the States again without being arrested, and, as I wrote earlier, possibly even executed.
To repeat this one last time, I’m not one to keep up on a lot of “real news,” but I will be with this case. I think we all owe it to ourselves to keep up to date on this man’s wellbeing, and whether or not he’s in any actual danger from his home country. Snowden did what he thought was right, and something that took an immense amount of courage. He did it so that you, and me, could learn a little more of the truth about the US government, and for that I thank him.