Sunday, February 2, 2014

Edward Snowden: From Patriot to Most Wanted

"He was politically conservative, a gun owner, a geek – and the man behind the biggest intelligence leak in history", writes The Guardian. The left try to paint him as a conservative turn coat who went 'good'. In fact, Edward Snowden was and is a protector of Liberty

The younger Snowden was into computers, kung fu – and even tried his hand at amateur modelling. Photograph: © TheTrueHOOHA (Source)

Both the Left and the Right are trying to picture Edward Snowden into someone he isn't. Snowden's personal history goes from fairly Conservative to a Neocon turned Libertarian to the point of supporting Ron Paul. But he can't have supported Paul's pacifist views, or he wouldn't have signed up for the army and said of Bush's policy on Iraq: "I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression". As he teamed up with Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, the British Socialist flagship newspaper, the Left are trying to turn him into an anti American lefty. This is ludicrous.

Some Conservatives from their part have suggested that Snowden should have put loyalty first, to a country that is turning into Europe at its worst under Obama. But patriots are loyal to values and individual rights, not to groups. This analysis is collectivist. A country that no longer puts rights, limited government and liberty first, isn't worthy of loyalty. The suggestion that such a man could have leaked information to China or Russia is simply proposterous. As he told Greenwald, "he didn't want to live in a world "where everything that I say, everything that I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of love or friendship is recorded".

With that in mind Luke Harding's look at Edward Snowden's journey from patriot to America's most wanted will be an fascinating read. Harding writes that Snowden's chat logs cover a colorful array of themes: gaming, girls, sex, Japan, the stock market, his disastrous stint in the US army, his negative impressions of multiracial Britain (he was shocked by the number of "Muslims" in east London and wrote, "I thought I had gotten off of the plane in the wrong country… it was terrifying"), the joys of gun ownership ("I have a Walther P22. It's my only gun but I love it to death," he wrote in 2006).

In 2009 his entries on Ars Technica under the nick of TheTrueHOOHA fizzle away. In February 2010 he mentioned a thing that troubled him: pervasive government surveillance. "Society really seems to have developed an unquestioning obedience towards spooky types… Did we get to where we are today via a slippery slope that was entirely within our control to stop?" TheTrueHOOHA's last post is on 21 May 2012. After that, he disappears, a lost electronic signature amid the vastness of cyberspace. (...)