When a Chinese dissident breaks an illegitimate Chinese law the West applauds. When an American whistleblower reveals hidden crimes the accomplices of these crimes cry foul. Transparency in political matters is claimed only when the other has something to hide.
By supplying his name, Snowden is sticking two fingers up at the United States intelligence community. Another possibility is that in supplying his name, he's added further fuel to a fire that's blazing across the political landscape of America.
What worries me about programs like the NSA's PRISM is that human judgment comes into play too far down the line. Vast computers are collecting electronic communications data, and, by extension, data on people, and it is possible that millions of those people are law-abiding Americans.
Was it really less than a year ago that the very same media outlets now taking the Administration to task on their editorial pages beamed so appreciatively at the surgically precise data analysis capabilities of the Obama campaign organization?
Your DNA is being filed away in a national data base, and your phone calls -- within and outside the U.S. -- are being tapped and stored by your government. There is one thread linking these two stories: our government's frightful and fanatical intrusion into our personal lives.
In Chicago, on the South and West sides, police surveillance cameras, with their branded flashing blue lights, checkered borders and official insignia, have been peeping the activities of the citizenry from atop light poles since 2003.
Am I naïve enough to believe the government hasn't being spying on us all this time? No, that's ridiculous. Am I still really mad that it's official? Yes. It's like when your significant other admits to cheating on you even though you already presumed it was the case.
The original revelations about spying on the AP have been overshadowed by the recent confirmations of the NSA's long suspected and extensive domestic spying activities. The opinion of the public appears to be strongly in favor of improved privacy protections.
The greatness of the Fourth Amendment explains why so many Americans treasure it today. But along with other high-ranking members of Congress and the president of the United States, you have continued to chip away at this sacred bedrock of civil liberties.