By now, we all know that Edward Snowden “leaked” classified documents as a contractor for the National Security Agency. These documents demonstrated the wide spread collection of data by the NSA without a warrant including phone records and internet usage of average Americans. For this act he has been charged with conveying classified information to an unauthorized party, disclosing communications intelligence information, and theft of government property.
Mr. Snowden was in Hong Kong when he originally leaked the information to the Guardian, an English news outlet. After the story broke Edward left Hong Kong and ran to the airport in Moscow in an effort to evade US officials and detention. Since escaping to Russia he has accused “the US of waging a campaign of “historically disproportionate aggression” Being stuck in a Russian Airport for weeks now I can only imagine that must feel true. The following is an open letter to Mr. Snowden asking him to follow the teachings of Martin Luther King and to come home and face his accusers.
The time has come for you to return home and face your accusers. You have been charged with crimes and will face the full power of the Obama’s prosecutors but just as a single man was able to stop a column of Chinese tanks, you can do the same in America and stop the continued usurpations of liberty while preventing violence that will surely follow should if peaceful means are not identified.
Those that prosecute you and their mouth pieces across the spectrum have claimed that you are really a Russian or Chinese sympathizer actually bent on giving away classified information to those that may threaten America. Edward come home and answer their charges, your continued avoidance creates a false sense creditability to their claims and public perception follows.
The Attorney General has recently announced that the United States will not seek the death penalty in your case. Though fear of being executed is completely understandable this should not be the determinative element holding you back from returning home. When a person stands for justice the risk of harm is always present, many before you have paid that ultimate price, for which we have reaped the rewards. Those who formed the original Christian Church risked death from the claws of lions in the Colosseum, those that marched for civil rights risked being lynched by the hands of their oppressors. Fear and likelihood of death or bodily harm is faced by our military every day in our various combat theaters. Our nation was founded by those who pledged and were willing to sacrifice their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor.”
It may feel like you are alone in this struggle but that is not true. You will find battle buddies in the millions of liberty loving activists across America. We too carry risk for voicing our support. Who will the IRS target for audit? Who will the NSA focus intrusions upon? Who stands to be labeled as an enemy combatant or pariah? You are not alone. Those of us that do not benefit from the media spotlight but choose to stand in opposition to governmental institutions that oppress our natural rights and proclaim that our nation is on the wrong course, are at risk of less public persecutions.
Continuing to evade the American court system risks undermining the sacrifices you have already endured. Your trial will be our opportunity to publicly demonstrate that Americans stand with liberty. Your supporters will ensure that you receive a fair trial with all the rights our Constitution affords an American and not just an appearance before a kangaroo court. With millions of liberty loving Americans monitoring the trial, critiquing and analyzing every piece of evidence, and speaking out with every ruling your defense team will gain from the voices of America’s best and brightest legal minds channeled through every media outlet. The government will not dare risk using “state’s secrets” or “classified information” to prevent your opportunity to confront your accuser in violation of the 6th Amendment, and if it does, your case will only be bolstered.
Our nation has changed and not for the better, we need you see this all the way through to demonstrate forces at work. There was a time that all were certain that every American would be afforded due process, now those rights are questioned by those in positions of power in the sake of expedience. The federal government has gained in power and it is a historical fact that governments do not give up power voluntarily.
For many years now we have passively watched the diminution of our liberty, as we board an airplane, get out photos taken by street cameras, our patriotic associations are targeted by the IRS, or the President refuses to answer if an American can be shot by a drone when sipping coffee in Austin Texas. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over then men will be no longer willing to allow established means correct these ills and will seek their own devices, .
In the American Courts you will be able to demonstrate that you did not break the law. In the Army you were taught to follow “lawful orders.” Contractors, cell phone and internet providers and their employees have silently sat by collecting and transferring the information. How many have passively allowed for this continued Constitutional violation or even worse been a party to it because their employer told them to do it? As the world learned at Nuremberg and My Lai, not all orders are lawful. An unlawful order is one that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. A law maybe just on its face and unjust in its application. While collecting information of those that seek to do us harm is just, blanket collection and retention of all our information is clearly an unjust and unconstitutional application.
As Martin Luther King taught us in his letter from a Birmingham jail “One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty.” We must remember that “human progress never rolls on the wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces” that seek to continue the harm.
Those denied liberty cannot remain oppressed forever, this is why we have an impartial rather than an imperial court system. In America, an individual can stand before the executive branch on equal footing. When this ability to stand opposed to governmental wrong doing is no longer true, the tree of liberty will be fed, let us pray that time has not come.
Mr. Snowed, Edward, Ed, it is time to come home and allow the courts to restore your liberty, because you don’t have much in the Moscow airport.