Edward Snowden, seen here in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, told the newspaper he was the source of a series of leaked documents from the National Security Agency. (The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras)
Forget skinny ties and retro hats: The surest way to attain super-cool status (and fame) today is to betray your country.
The impossibly self-important NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, who “exposed” two vital intelligence programs, isn’t a leftie Paul Revere. He’s Kim Kardashian with stubble.
He revealed very highly classified programs, alerting our enemies about our most sophisticated intelligence-collectioncapabilities (programs designed to keep us safe, not spy on us).He broke his oath to protect the information with which we entrusted him, lied about who we target and aided those who want to kill Americans.And he hintshe could do more damage.
To this old-fashioned American, that’s plain treason.
It’s always been a hipster thing to trash government, but the left’s generations-long effort to destroy the positive image of patriotism has made betraying our country a fashion statement. Snowden is a copycat who “admires” Pfc. Bradley Manning, another now-famous young man who knew better than those who serve dutifully for decades. He’s also enamored of Julian Assange, the left’s favorite accused rapist.
There’s nothing brave about his brag that he was the source of the NSA leaks (especially since he fled the country first). This is clearly about the desire to be a star.
To get a sense of Snowden’s phenomenal vanity, check out the 12-minute film (all over the Internet) in which he justifies his deed. The high-school dropout may have a flair for tech, but he knows nothing about our history, trade relations, international affairs or even the conditions in Hong Kong (where he says he now fears assassination by CIA-backed Triad gangsters).
Claiming that he only wants to make government accountable, Snowden then brags that he could expose CIA stations around the world. He wants “asylum from any countries that believe in free speech.” So he went to China? Hope you enjoy your stay, Mr. Snowden.
In his I-love-me interview, he further opines that the American people, not the government, should decide about programs such as those he revealed. He should have stayed in school until he got to the Civics block on democracy. The American public does vote on these programs — through their representatives in Congress. That’s why we have regular elections.
And to my leftist friends: Do you really want a 29-year-old high-school dropout, rather than Congress, deciding which intelligence programs should be authorized? Really? Sounds like a dictatorship to me.
Snowden, not the NSA, subverted democracy.
It may disappoint conservatives, but I’m a fan of Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.). I don’t agree with all of her positions, but I respect her integrity. Protective of civil liberties, she’s an excellent litmus test on intelligence matters. And Feinstein believes the NSA programs in question help keep us safe.
Again to my leftist friends: Do you really think Snowden or Manning or Assange care more about your freedom than Sen. Feinstein?
There is a scandal here, though, one that’s overdue for serious attention: the out-of-control use of contractors to perform vital government services.
This is a mess for which Republicans bear the chief blame. For a generation, they’ve insisted that the private sector can perform all government work cheaper and better — even when it comes to national security. But as I’ve seen myself, from the Pentagon to Iraq, it ain’t cheaper and it’s rarely better.
This spoiled-brat, dropout Benedict Arnold claims he was pulling down a $200,000 salary for his NSA contract work. A direct NSA employee on the government payroll might get between $75,000 and $90,000 for the same work. And the contractor adds on exorbitant overhead, so Snowden probably cost us at least $500,000 per year. Wonder why we’ve seen the defense and intelligence budgets soar?
Obviously, Snowden’s employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, failed in its oversight duty. But contractors are desperate for techies with security clearances, and Snowden already was cleared above top secret. There was no incentive to look too closely at him: The company needed a warm body in Hawaii.
And Booz Allen Hamilton is actually one of the better contracting outfits.
So: We have a fame-hungry traitor, a compromise of vital security programs, a turncoat who’s put himself at China’s mercy, the left-leaning media making the creep a hero and contractors desperate to cover up their greed.
Coming to a TV near you: “Real Spies of DC.”
Ralph Peters spent much of his US Army career in intelligence.