Ron Paul recently said on his Facebook page:
“My understanding is that espionage means giving secret or classified information to the enemy. Since Snowden shared information with the American people, his indictment for espionage could reveal (or confirm) that the US Government views you and me as the enemy.”
He’s right. If nothing else, the way this has played out tells you everything you really need to know about the Land of the Free right now.
Snowden has been demonized by just about every government official on record. US Secretary of State John Kerry called Snowden’s actions “despicable and beyond description,” while US Senator Lindsey Graham said, “I hope we’ll chase him to the ends of the earth…”
Words like “hanging” and “treason” are floating around the mainstream media. It’s incredible. The issue no longer has anything to do with the criminality of the government spying programs. But whether Snowden should be shot or hung.
Yet amazingly enough, many polls show that roughly half of Americans think that Snowden is a traitor and should be prosecuted. And among the Twittering classes, the discussion quickly turned to Snowden’s ‘hot or not’ status as a potential sex symbol.
Such data is truly profound. Roughly half of Americans don’t give a rat’s eye about their own liberty. And it’s obvious that the US government has every intention to continue these programs full speed ahead.
When it becomes this clear that you no longer share basic, core values with your government… or your neighbors… maybe it’s time to consider other options.
The world is a big place, after all. And there’s a tremendous amount of freedom and opportunity ripe for pioneering, talented people.
One last thing I’d like to point out on the matter is whether or not Mr. Snowden would have been aided if he had procured a second passport. The answer, quite simply, is a resounding yes.
Snowden is now marred in a number of banal legal technicalities.
The US government has cancelled his passport (another questionable legal move from Uncle Sam). So he appears stuck in the international transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
He’s not legally able to fly back to Hong Kong. Nor is he legally able to board a flight to Havana for onward travel to Ecuador, in order to apply for asylum.
If Mr. Snowden had been able to procure a second passport prior to stepping into the limelight, he would likely not be in this predicament as he could have been traveling on his other passport.
This is one of the hidden virtues of having a second passport. You might never ‘need’ one. But should such a need ever arise, it can really be a life saver.
In Mr. Snowden’s case, the best option on the table would have been Brazil.
Why? Because anyone can be Brazilian. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is; Brazil is a melting pot of 200+ million people. White, black, brown, it doesn’t matter. Even obviously anglo names like Edward Snowden are not terribly uncommon in Brazil.
Moreover, Brazil has a very clear policy of not giving up its citizens.
Yes, Brazil technically does have an extradition treaty with the US. But nations routinely set aside extradition treaties whenever it suits them.
So if Snowden had become a Brazilian (which anyone can do– via 2-4 years of residency, or marriage, or even having a child), he could be happily living out his days on the beach in Fortaleza, rather than being stuck in a Russian transit zone.
I personally would like to wish Mr. Snowden safe and speedy travels to his next destination… which will hopefully be far from the United States of America and its faux justice system.