There was a big elephant wandering around the Senate Chamber last weekend.
His name was Ed Snowden – and no one wanted to acknowledge he was there.
The Patriot Act expired this week which puts to rest the possibility that it will be resurrected in it’s entirely.
A lot of people are puzzled why Senator McConnell pushed so hard to prevent any needed reforms of the Patriot Act. The failure to do so partially discredited his leadership.
Republican Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky has a theory.
“It was so difficult for Senator McConnell and Senator McCain to vote for the Freedom Act because doing anything exonerates Snowden–doing anything except reauthorization [of the Patriot Act],” Massie told reporters off the Senate floor. “That’s why they never wanted to change anything. And now, that vote that just happened acknowledges that Edward Snowden was right to some degree.”
So many Senators have turned themselves into pretzels to avoid acknowledging that Snowden was right.
He was right “to some degree”.
“Because of Edward Snowden, there’s a perception — which is not true — but there’s a perception that we’re invading people’s privacy,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), explained last month. Florida’s own.
Nelson isn’t the only Washington lawmaker who has struggled to articulate Snowden’s influence on the debate that has kept senators up late and away from home for two weekends now. It’s hard to give credit to someone you want imprisoned. But on Sunday night, as tempers frayed, vote-counters strategized, and Rand Paul talked, senators could no longer avoid talking about the ex-NSA contractor’s disclosures.
“It’s why we’re here,” Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee and a fierce NSA defender, said of the Snowden disclosures. “People began creating a myth around it. That did occur. The public discourse around it created a myth about what this program is and what it isn’t.”
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who entered the Senate months before the Snowden leaks, agreed. “It is clear we wouldn’t be here without that information,” he said. “I’m not saying that there were violations of people’s civil liberties. There weren’t. But we certainly are taking a bigger role now in oversight.”
Of course! We are all stupid! We’re falling for some propaganda from a single person!
For some reason the fact that a federal appeals court had ruled the NSA spying illegal was less important than taking/giving blame/credit.
You will certainly never get the NSA defenders to admit that Snowden is a whistleblower, even when he exposed an illegal program.
Five years ago the Senate debate for renewing the Patriot Act lasted 20 seconds.
This year 60 members of Congress voted against the Freedom Act bill, the one that would reform the Patriot Act, because “they thought it left the spying agency with too much power.”
Bravo Ed. Bravo.
It’s too bad you can’t live in your own country.
Ed Snowden deserves a pardon.
Much of the above emailed to me by: