By Jay - Ottawa
We nod wisely when the mighty are admonished not to slay a messenger bearing bad news. A corollary to the old maxim, often repeated lately, urges bystanders to focus on the message, not the messenger. Yes, the powerful commit an injustice in directing their fury against the messenger, but I’m beginning to have doubts about looking away from the messenger to pay full attention to the message. At least in the Snowden affair.
Is whistleblower Edward Snowden merely a messenger who should now melt into the background noise? So that the world can concentrate its attention on the NSA’s crimes?
Snowden is more than a messenger; Snowden IS the message. As Snowden goes, so does his message. His fate is inextricably bound to the fate of his revelations about the Security State. He with his nerdy expertise has emerged as a David against Goliath. There are so few people around the world with his sure hold on justice and the courage to defy the unjust. He, for all his youth and lack of credentials, is a rare leader trying to rouse Americans about the sea change that has occurred in American government.
The Obama administration has no doubt about the equivalence of Snowden and his message. It’s so much harder now to argue the USA is not an empire abroad and a country sliding into totalitarianism, the manager of many forms of prison at home.
We read this morning that Putin is pushing Snowden to get his act together and depart, soon. All of Western Europe, we now realize, is under the thumb of the US. Forget about Europeans giving him, or even helping him reach, asylum. Collaboration saves their governments lots of headaches. Furthermore, can their democracies suffer a man so principled in their midst?
As for the lefty states of South America, they are no longer helpful. They had even more reason to stick a thumb in Uncle Sam’s eye after the Morales plane ride. But their focus is no longer on Snowden. They are noisily indignant about Europe’s disregard for diplomatic niceties.
Will Snowden be forced to turn himself over to a SEAL team, one of which is probably sharing the same public toilets as Snowden at Sheremetyevo? Or will he, sadly, knowing what happened to Manning, take more drastic action to resolve this saga?
Only a very rich man like George Soros with a stealth jet and an out-of-the-box plan can save Snowden now.
Snowden is not another messenger. He is the point of a needle than could deflate the Security State. If Obama’s agents bury Snowden, they’ll bury the message.
|Reclaiming the Fourth (Reuters)|