Every day for the past three weeks, we, as the American public, are updated on the new developments in the Edward Snowden bid for flight.
After disclosing several alarming facts about the surveillance operations of our government’s National Security Agency (NSA) to the British newspaper The Guardian several weeks ago, Snowden attempts to escape the consequences in any way possible. He spent his latest days in a Moscow, Russia airport seeking asylum from other countries.
It was recently reported by CNN that Snowden officially accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum. In a speech in capital city Caracas, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro said, “I announce to the friendly governments of the world that we have decided to use international humanitarian rights to protect Snowden from the persecution that the world’s most powerful empire has unleashed against a young person who has told the truth.”
Though Snowden’s crusade to free the American people from a Big Brother reminiscent surveillance operation was brave, his flight befuddles many. He brought attention to a very serious problem in this free country, but now, the only attention he receives is that of a man running from treason charges. If Snowden was so afraid to get caught, why did he not make his whistleblow anonymous?
Some claim that not as many would believe what was happening from an anonymous source. Snowden, a former government intelligence worker, brings validity to the claims of the NSA using questionable tactics to acquire information. He was a believable source of information, especially after the government’s reaction towards the leak. The government collapsed into a “damage control” mindset, and their most important act was to arrest Edward Snowden.
Snowden’s arrest and trial would have aroused the American public and spotlighted the issue at hand. Instead, we are now left with what CNN calls the “Snowden saga.” Snowden is running from the law like any common robber or muderer, and the real issue is falling by the wayside. Everyone watching is now more worried about how Snowden will travel from Moscow to Caracas. His attempts to run from the consequences blanket the point of infringement on privacy by our own national government, the point that Snowden wanted to drive home in the first place.
It almost makes me wonder if he truly wanted to expose the government for its wrongdoings or gain his fifteen minutes of fame. Venezuela and other countries that back him up, such as Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, all feel that Snowden’s message to the American people was meant to inform the masses. Whatever his motives were, they are slowly beginning to close in on his freedom. Although Venezuela gave Snowden a ticket out, I am sure the “Snowden saga” is not complete yet. As this story continues to unfold, the true meaning behind his flight from the country known for liberty and invading privacy becomes a moot point.