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Readers thoughts on Edward Snowden in Sunday's Forum

Staff Report • Jul 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Shame on mediaIn my opinion, Edward Snowden has revealed to the American people things that those opposed to our actions already knew. Congress has not, following the dictates of the Constitution, declared war against anyone, which means that we have no official enemy. That same Constitution defines treason as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” In fact, Snowden has given us information — he has given us aid and comfort. It would seem those who call him a traitor are saying we the people are the enemy. He is no more a traitor than were Daniel Ellsberg, Joseph Wilson, Sibel Edmonds, Mark Klein, Karen Kwiatkowski, Samuel Provance, Russ Tice, John Paul Vann or Bradley Manning. They made public information that was embarrassing to the U.S. government, but that does not constitute treason. We all know, though not all will admit, that classification and secrecy are used to protect government wrong-doing and those who would avoid accountability for that. The current administration has established quite a record of persecuting those who would let us citizens know about what our government does but does not want us to know. “What we don’t know will harm us,” and a government that does not want us to know is bringing its honor and ours into question. Shame on us for failing to question why our mass media go along with this. Shame on our sheep-like mass media.JOEL SHIMBERGJohnson CityCourageous citizenIt takes tremendous courage to stand up to a government that gradually keeps taking our liberties away. Being complacent and letting these things happen without a word of dissent will only bring on government intrusion and eventually oppression.I feel Edward Snowden is a courageous American citizen who is facing a government that is fast growing beyond manageability and gravitating towards control of its citizens. This government, which originally was meant to be ‘“by the people” and “for the people,” is now deteriorating into something oppressive as that seems the only way to control masses of people.I don’t believe this was the intent at all when Obama took office. Things have started to get out of control. It seems the squeeze to do as the government dictates becomes stronger and stronger. By being silent, we lose choice day by day. This happens so slowly we hardly notice at first.I still think America is the best place in the world to live. But how long will this be the case if we don’t assert our rights as citizens and keep an eye on our government which keeps growing larger and less manageable (and less transparent) every day?JUDY BOLYARDJonesboroughDefine traitor, patriotMany words are flying around in regard to Edward Snowden. Words such as traitor, treason, whistleblower and patriot. Let’s define each. Traitor: A person who betrays a country or a group of people by supporting an enemy.Treason: The Constitution defines treason against the United States as levying war against the U.S. or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort. This offence is punishable by death. Act of April 30, 1790, 1 Story’s Law U.S. 83.Whistleblower: A person who informs on someone or puts a stop to something.Patriot: A person who loves and strongly supports or fights for his or her country.So by definition Snowden is not a traitor as he has not betrayed his country to an enemy. He has not committed treason as he has given no aid to any of our enemies. A whistleblower, yes, as he has revealed the fourth amendment (protection from unreasonable search and seizure) has been violated. Patriot? Yes. This man gave up his life — family, friends and freedom to inform the people what was going on. That unselfish act shows how much this man loves and cares about the United States of America.I will be the first to say we must have safeguards in place to protect this country from all enemies while protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens of the greatest country in the world.FRED GIBSONElizabethtonCausing more harmInitially I did not consider Edward Snowden a traitor. I was concerned about the information he released and the way he released it. I was not surprised this data had been gathered and can only hope that it is not abused. America’s right to privacy is, and always has been, limited by national security concerns.That said, I believe that Snowden’s recent actions have revealed him to be much more than a whistleblower. A person who will continue to release information against the public good, traveling to countries inimical to American interests, is not a person I will trust. I believe he may cause harm to our men and women in the field. And so therefore, I do consider him a traitor. I believe he should be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. JUDY SCOTTJohnson City Snowden ran awayDo I think Edward Snowden is a traitor? Running certainly makes him look guilty. He could have resigned and filed a protest. He could have blogged his discontent. He should have spoken out.Will he get a fair trial? There’s only one way to find out. It is the thing our country stands for. It’s rather an insult that he feels he can’t trust the rest of us to think clearly and sympathetically.Or, let him stay on the run. Let him live in an airport. Let him live in Ecuador. When his parents die he won’t be at their funeral. When his kin get sick he’ll have to stay away. When he gets sick he’ll have to settle for what Ecuadorian doctors can for do him. We patiently kept at it for 10 years to find Osama bin Laden. Let’s test his will in his belief of his actions. But first, we must resolve this — he ran.CHARLES MOOREJohnson City

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