Whistleblower Edward Snowden?says his intent is to create a discussion in the U.S. about the government’s secret surveillance program that he exposed by releasing top secret documents. The controversy has exploded in Washington, where lawmakers and political pundits alike are taking sides for or against the program, and in ways that often reverse traditional alliances.
What hasn’t changed, however, is libertarian Ron Paul’s disgust over the encroachment of government on citizens’ rights. Now he’s worried about what the government’s reaction means for the safety of Snowden. In an interview, Paul told ‘Fox Business News’:
I’m worried about, somebody in our government might?kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile. I mean, we live in a bad time where American citizens don’t even have rights and that they can be killed, but the gentlemen is trying to tell the truth about what’s going on.
Paul is referring, of course, to the fact that the U.S. has already killed American citizens on foreign soil, using drone strikes. And as far as anyone knows, Snowden is currently on foreign soil. However, we haven’t started using that type of weapon in Hong Kong–where Snowden was last known to be–and aren’t likely to antagonize China by beginning to do so now.
Nevertheless, this is the kind of fear that comes out of secretive surveillance programs and lethal strikes against individuals who have not had the benefit of a trial. Where are the parameters? What limits are there on the government’s ability to strike at will?
Clearly supportive of Snowden’s disclosures, Paul added:
It’s a shame that we are in an age where people who tell the truth about what the government is doing gets into trouble. What about the people who destroy our Constitution?… What do we think about people who assassinate American citizens without trials and assume that that’s the law of the land? That’s where our problem is. Our problem isn’t with people who are trying to tell us the truth about what’s happening.
One has to wonder if Snowden identified himself because of the same kind of worry. Was he thinking that, if his identity is known, it gives him a measure of security against becoming the target of a remote assassination? Certainly, he has opened up a dialogue in many quarters, as intended, with the result being that the eyes of the nation, if not the world, are upon him.
Edited/Published by: SB