Redemption can be so sweet. Edward Snowden and his cadre of supporters no doubt were already feeling this from the many accolades and tributes he received this year (most recently, runner-up to the Pope for Time magazine’s Person of the Year!). Now, there is a decision by a federal district court to further cement his validation, finding a “substantial likelihood” that the NSA’s collection of phone records Snowden exposed is unconstitutional. The indefatigable Judge Richard Leon could not imagine a more “indiscriminate” and “arbitrary invasion” of our privacy. “Almost-Orwellian,” he called it. So horrific there is “little doubt” that James Madison, author of our Constitution, “would be aghast.”
But it is not this judicial corroboration that will ensure a continued flow of national security whistleblowers like Snowden leaking classified information to the press. Nor is it the global adulation Snowden has received for standing up against what he saw as a government behaving badly. Neither is likely to last all that long. So why can we expect to see so many more Snowdens in our future? The answer lies in how the government is choosing to deal with these kinds of whistleblowers. It seems to think that locking them away for life is the right approach. This, coming from an administration that appreciates the value of whistleblowers, having presided over the largest expansion of whistleblower protections in decades. It just does not consider Snowden the type of whistleblower worth protecting. It is no wonder he felt compelled to go straight to the media . . . . Click here for more.
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