Another of our western allies has given Edward Snowden an award, honoring him as a whistleblower of courage. This time he’s been given the Bjornson Prize for freedom of expression from the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression. (Click) The accolades he’s been given abroad should be enough to embarrass our government into rethinking its truculent insistence that Snowden be tried under the 1917 Espionage Act. Instead, our officials continue to make themselves look foolish by snarling at our Norwegian allies, reminding them that Snowden is guilty of serious crimes and should be returned to the United States.
If the situation weren’t so grave for Snowden, the response would be laughable. In December 2013, Federal judge, Richard J. Leon, ruled in support Snowden’s actions as a whistle blower, and accused the N.S.A. of having violated the Constitution with an almost Orwellian nonchalance. (Click) That our Congress has overhauled the Patriot’s Act to curb N.S.A. snooping is further vindication for Snowden’s conduct and evidence of his courage in taking the agency to task for its Irrational exuberance — behavior that would deprive citizens of the freedom the N.S.A. claims to protect.
Those who can’t or won’t let go of their anger should be ignored. Without evidence, they accuse the exile of engaging in a conspiracy and of giving documents to our enemies (Click) What they fail to see is that the country has already moved in Edward Snowden’s direction. He is a whistleblower who deserves protection under the laws we designed for that purpose.
Our government’s continuing threats to prosecute Snowden should end. The time has come to organize a ticker-tape parade for his homecoming.