I have believed in my convictions, and have been convicted for my beliefs.
On April 28, 1967 at the Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Station in Houston, Texas, a 25 year old prize fighter, citing his Islamic faith, refused three times to step forward at the call of his name and was subsequently arrested, convicted of draft evasion, stripped of his titles and state licenses to fight and sentenced to five years in prison. Muhammad Ali, the Greatest fighter there ever was, was well aware of the consequences of his actions. Being heavyweight Champion, he had both the means and the opportunity to flee the United States and continue his boxing career in some other country, but he chose instead, to remain in America and demonstrate the conviction of his stand against the war. It was in fact, only after Ali's stand, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out against the Vietnam conflict. After three years of legal battles the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction and he was once again allowed to fight.
In contrast, in early June of 2013, Edward Snowden surfaced in Hong Kong, announcing himself as the source of the NSA surveillance leaks being reported in the media, and while claiming, he doesn't want to live in a society that does these types of things, and that he didn't want the story to be about him, proceeded, in fact, to make the story about him. He claims that he had to flee the country for fear that he might be rendered by the CIA ... or any of [their] third-party partners. I, on the other hand, have and unending supply of questions for Mr. Snowden.
- If you did what you did for love of country and concern over governmental overeach, why would you run first to a country known for doing the same things you claim America to be doing?
- If you really think the CIA wants to disappear you, why do you keep telling the entire world exactly where you are. Do you think everybody is paying attention except the the people in the business of rendering?
- Why is it that the media is so quick to believe without question, everything you say, when every time you open your mouth, your story seems to unravel just a little bit more. Is it perhaps because the fourth estate laid down en masse for the Bush administration and is now trying to redeem itself by standing up to big government? Mr. Snowden is a conglomeration of anomalies, embellishments an inconsistencies, and yet the reporters reporting choose not to report on the gaping holes in Snowden's story.
- Four laptop computers that enable you to gain access to some of the US government's most highly-classified secrets? I'm no genius, be it seems to me that when somebody announces to the world he has your encryption keys, the first thing you do is change your encryption keys.
Enough with the cloak and dagger bullshit. If you are the patriot that you say you are, come home and face the music. You said you did what you did because you thought it was an important story. If you believe that, prove it.
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.