The Obama administration is considering charging confessed NSA-surveillance leaker Edward Snowden with illegally passing classified documents. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) called Snowden a “traitor.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (R-Calif.) said the 29-year old whistleblower is guilty of “treason.” And, inveterate warmonger Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted, “I view Mr. Snowden's actions not as one of patriotism but potentially a felony.” Adding, "I hope we follow Mr. Snowden to the ends of the earth to bring him to justice."
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that Snowden is on the run. The latest update indicates that Snowden has gone off the grid after having originally fled to Hong Kong. According to Snowden, he may seek asylum in Iceland, a country known for its hospitable climate to those taking controversial political stands.
While he flies beneath the radar looking for friendly shores, Snowden may want to keep an eye out for U.S. drones tracking his movements.
This is the warning issued by libertarian icon and former presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul.
During a telephone interview with Fox Business Network’s "Money with Melissa Francis", Paul, speaking of Snowden, wondered what the future might hold for the young former NSA contractor.
"I'm worried about somebody in our government who might kill him, with a cruise missile or a drone missile,” Paul said.
"We live in a bad time where American citizens don't even have rights and that they can be killed," Paul continued. "But the gentleman is trying to tell the truth about what's going on, he is not defecting, there's no signs of that happening. It's a shame we're in an age where people who tell the truth about what the government is doing get into trouble."
Later in the conversation, Paul said he is “absolutely” sure that Snowden has no intention of selling more U.S. secrets to a foreign government, as some have feared. "I don't think for a minute that he is a traitor," Paul said.
Shocker: Ron Paul has a different take on civil liberties than the gang of usual suspects quoted at the top of this article.
Then, when pushed about whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor, Paul blasted the neo-cons with both barrels:
"Everybody is worried about him and what they're going to do and how they will convict him of treason and how they're going to kill him, but what about the people who destroy our Constitution? What kind of penalty are those individuals who take the Second or the Fourth amendment and destroy it? What do we think about people who assassinate American citizens without trials and assume that's the law of the land? That's where our problem is."
When FBN’s Francis confronted Paul with the results of a recent Pew Research Center survey that show 56 percent of Americans say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, Paul chalked such responses up to "propaganda" of the sort that says “if you're not for NSA spying on people, then you're un-American, you're unpatriotic, you hate America."
Interestingly, Paul’s admiration for Snowden is apparently mutual.
In a statement published online by Campaign for Liberty, of which Paul is the chairman, the constitutionally consistent former congressman said:
The Fourth Amendment is clear; we should be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects, and all warrants must have probable cause. Today the government operates largely in secret, while seeking to know everything about our private lives — without probable cause and without a warrant.
The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing.
We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.
As of the time of writing this article, the Obama administration has made no announcement regarding the prosecution of Snowden and the young man himself has still not been hit by Hellfire missiles.
Photo of MQ-9 Reaper drone: AP Images