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View Diary: Edward Snowden is somewhere, probably (133 comments)

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  •  Think what Nelson Mandela's legacy (0+ / 0-)

    would have been if he had escaped to, say, France to avoid prosecution and sentencing under the Apartheid laws. He considered the system in South Africa to be profoundly wrong. He served 27 years in prison because he wanted to confront injustice. Others have taken similar actions all over the world and here in the USA as well. I find it troubling that Snowden is on the run because he claims he cannot get a fair trial in the USA, a claim I find very dubious. But even so, if you act on principle, and I assume he did, then it rather damages your assertion of principle if you run away and hide, especially in countries that barely pretend to honor the principles you say you espouse.

    I say this even while being somewhat disturbed by the vast national security state we have created. But that concern does not automatically oblige me to join the Snowden fan club.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 09:56:45 AM PDT

    •  Freedom Fighter (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, aliasalias, katiec

      There were a lot of ANC members which set up in exile and did a hell of a good job and got positions in the government after freedom was attained. Nelson Mandela would still be a hero if he had gone into exile and fought against apartheid  outside the country.
      There is no way Edward Snowden could get a fair trial in the US. He has already been found guilty and called a traitor by the US government officials. He will be mistreated and even Amnesty International have confirmed he could not get a fair trial in the US and if he returns they fear he will be mistreated.

      •  You are trying very hard to miss the point. (0+ / 0-)

        Not even Snowden is alleging that he is no guilty of the commission of a felony. Perhaps you equate a fair trial with acquittal, and that's pretty unlikely. However, the idea that moral objections to a government policy allows you to violate the law is just wrong and it is something to which I object strongly.

        Let's look at a different example. The Catholic Church objects to people using contraceptives and sought an exemption from the new healthcare law, claiming that their moral objections should exempt them from providing coverage to church employees for contraceptives. I strongly disagreed with that viewpoint. And I imagine you did too, because we just don't get to opt out of obeying the law. You are free to object all you like, but the State is right in insisting that you nevertheless obey the law. Snowden is attracting legal sanction because he knowingly violated the law. That is quite distinct from how he or anyone feels about the NSA or PRISM or anything.

        Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

        by Anne Elk on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 12:33:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  In the 1989 June 4th Tiananmen massacre (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      many of the activists escaped China and exile in foreign counties, including the US. While it is easy to say that Mandela is a good example to get jailed and fight within the system, I think that if personal safety is on the line, choosing to escape is a honorable choice as well. I can say that if Snowden is caught, the US will treat him far worse than what the white South African government did to Mandela. Might be the same level or slightly better than what China would do to its dissidents.

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