What, specifically, was Snowden’s crime?

“I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

—Ronald Reagan

While I will neither support nor condemn Snowden, the people need the US government to handle problems much more effectively.

According to the US Constitution, Article III, Section 3…

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.


Snowden has been branded as a “traitor” by Secretaries, Generals, and Legislators in the US government—which means that, in their opinion, Snowden helped a US “enemy”. But that creates a problem—Snowden told the public. Is the “public” now the enemy of a democratic/republic State?

Snowden didn’t tell secrets to the Chinese or Russians or North Koreans in secret. That would/could have been “treason”. And, most importantly, none of his accusers give him any credit or appreciation for his conscientious, though youthful, dedication to “consent of the governed” and “government of, by, and for the people”. None of his accusers say, “You know, I’m really thankful he didn’t go to Iran in secret. We owe him thanks for that.” None of his accusers make any distinction between “secretly telling enemies” and “publicly telling the public”… indicating that they don’t see a difference between the “enemy” and the “public”. Snowden saw the world of difference.

Unless there is a very good explanation from Snowden’s accusers for why he was wrong to think that the “public” and the “enemy” are different, it could seem that all of his accusers are, by their own definitions, declaring themselves an enemy of the people, and thus, “traitors” themselves. So far, they have remained silent on this important matter.

Maybe they didn’t mean to imply that the public is their enemy—maybe they merely spoke to the kid in anger. Hmmm… like that never happens. I hope that they give a good explanation soon, for everyone’s sake, including national security.

There are other factors to consider about Snowden:

1. Snowden is more or less a kid. His accusers are about twice his age. Do those leaders want to tell the world that kids can outsmart our government? Is that their intent? Their anger has certainly “encouraged” a lot of kids to this idea. And that is not good for a secure society.

2. Snowden’s accusers have declared that his claims are accurate. Without US retaliation against Snowden, the “information” Snowden released might not have been much of a threat at all since it wouldn’t have been verified. The US government should have said, “But his claims aren’t true. There is no case against Snowden. He doesn’t have access to secrets because we didn’t give him security clearance. He just wants to be famous.” Had Snowden not been attacked, US secrets would have been protected better.

3. Snowden did not have all of the appropriate security clearance… So, who told Snowden these secrets in the first place? Where is the actual breach in security?

The US government leaders really dropped the ball in responding to Snowden. I don’t support or disagree with Snowden since I don’t have strong opinions of people under 40 years old. Being under 40, I don’t have a strong opinion of myself either, though I often argue with myself. But, as for people over 50—I tend to expect older people to demonstrate competence, responsibility, and to de-escalate problems. Any threat that this kid may pose to national security was only made possible by should-be competent leaders who dropped the ball. If Snowden hurt America, then America needs new leaders who can’t be outsmarted by kids and who aren’t so easily angered when their own neglected faults are exposed.

A kid throws a “snow ball” and the parents cry like babies. It is in the best interest of national security to take the “escape goat” sights off of a kid and focus on making our own improvements. Man-up, Baby Boomer America, and act like adults!

What would Reagan say? Under Reagan, Snowden might not have known any secrets in the first place… that’s another discussion altogether.  But I don’t think Reagan would be unsettled by actions of a 29 year-old—he was just “too old” for that sort of thing.

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