I am in a quandary. I really don’t know whether to praise or condemn Ed Snowden. Not knowing what’s in the documents he took, I don’t know whether the government’s frenzy is warranted. Was the safety of the U.S. seriously compromised? Or is the government screaming hysterically over losing control of the reins? I’m willing to give up some privacy temporarily, if that will stave off another 9/11. But I fear what can happen if nasty and ruthless people take charge at the NSA or the Justice Dept. or the presidency itself. In a democracy, citizens have a right to know, or at least debate issues like domestic spying on the populace.
There is no question in my mind that the Constitution is being trashed. In violation of the First Amendment, NSA surveillance has made the job of journalists, especially investigative ones, almost impossible. They can no longer guarantee absolute confidentiality to their sources, or have any contact by e-mail or telephone or other electronic media. That makes reporting really hard.
The NSA has practically erased the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure. It has seized records of the phone calls and e-mails of virtually every American, and it can search them at will.
Snowden has much more to tell us. I for one will stay avidly tuned in.