Okay, I’m not advocating institutionalizing Edward Snowden, but I couldn’t resist the headline. What I did want to explore is what would happen if a state of the United States offered to grant Snowden asylum from the Federal government?
States have taken stands against Federal law many times throughout the history of our country. If states like California, Washington and Colorado are willing to defy the Federal Government when it comes to medical marijuana, to stand up for their residents, you would think there would be 1 in 50 states that would speak out about the government spying on its citizens.
I am disappointed that I live in a country that has become so powerful that not one of, how many, 187 countries (this is a wild guess at the current country count) has stood up to the United States and said, unequivocally, we will offer asylum to Edward Snowden.
But, you know what, this is a United States created problem. I am much more disappointed that not one state, not one municipality, has stood up and said, yes, we will offer asylum too. If there are states that will stand up to our government to protect our sacred right to get high, surely, one state will take a stand on our rights to privacy. Surely one state would stand up for its residents and ask the Federal government to repeal the Patriot Act and close the FISA courts.
I understand the practical issues. How is one state going to protect its sovereignty from a Federal Government and secret agents intent on hunting down their number one fugitive? And, then of course, if Ecuador could be threatened with the repeal of trade agreements, think of all the things our government can threaten a lowly state with (highway funds, education funds, healthcare funds, the list goes on).
Its not like I believe Edward Snowden would be foolish enough to take any state up on such an offer either. But if there was one state willing to take a stand and make such an offer, just the fact that they did, would make me feel like we live in a better America.
On another note, I think my own state, California, should be the one. (We just need to get some drug smugglers to sneak Snowden past the Coast Guard). Plus, I’d like to see California use its eminent domain powers against AT&T and take back Room 641 in their San Francisco building.