There is a great divide in America. We once again have a whistleblower who has made government crimes public. You can read about Edward Snowden here. Some Americans think he is a traitor for divulging national (government) secrets. Others think he is a hero for bringing wrongdoing to the public's attention.
This is similar to other situations in the past. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange come to mind first. They exposed government wrongdoing. There is a great divide of public opinion. Some see heroes and some see traitors. There tend not to be a lot in between, except for those who simply don't care or aren't paying attention.
I saw an interview on CNBC with John Thune. He is a Republican senator from South Dakota. He said that even if the release of these documents by Snowden shows government wrongdoing and leads to changes in policy, that Snowden should still be prosecuted. Thune says we are "a nation of laws".
John Thune, like so many other politicians in Washington DC, is a thug wearing a tie. He says we must follow the rule of law, but what if it is bad law? I suppose he thinks that whistleblowers against Hitler and the Nazis setting up concentration camps should have been prosecuted if they broke the law. Don't we have to ask if the laws are just?
In addition, this thug Thune is going after Snowden the whistleblower, yet he isn't talking about prosecuting government officials. What about the Bush regime that passed the Patriot Act? What about the Obama administration who has expanded the illegal spying? What about all of the people in Congress who voted and supported the Patriot Act? It is people like John Thune who should face a trial. He is part of the evil establishment who continually abuses power and who will spy on other Americans.
Then I heard some conservative radio talk show host who suggested that Snowden should get the death penalty. He is probably saying it for ratings, although that is scary enough in itself. I hope there is a nice hot place in the afterworld for people like this.
This issue may actually divide up the parties. It is almost a good litmus test for someone on whether they love the state. If they consider Snowden a traitor, then they are an enemy of liberty. If they consider Snowden a hero, then they at least have the potential of being a friend of liberty. Litmus tests don't usually work that well, but it seems to paint a pretty clear picture of someone's stance on the state in this particular case.
Ironically, there are many pro war Republicans who will defend Obama on this. All you have to do is mention the word "terror" and you will have half of the Republican Party fall into line with whatever it is you are saying. These people simply have no ability to think logically or morally, at least when it comes to government power.
I think it is interesting to take these opinions to their logical conclusion. For people like Thune who think Snowden should be prosecuted because we are supposedly a nation of laws, there is really no instance of where a whistleblower would not be prosecuted, if they are blowing the whistle against their own government. As long as it can be tied to national security in some way, then the person is supposed to keep quiet and obey their government superiors.
Someone working for the government could see a government official kill somebody in cold blood and the evil John Thune's of the world would still want to prosecute anyone who reported it to the public. According to Thune, every government crime should be kept completely secret if it has anything to do with national security. I suppose Thune doesn't want anyone to find out about all of his evil acts and the evil acts of his coworkers in Congress.
Ironically someone did blow the whistle on murder in cold blood. The person who blew the whistle is currently on trial. But John Thune and Barack Obama would prosecute anyone who divulges government secrets, even if they are reporting concentration camps with millions being murdered.