Snowden should be rewarded as a hero, say LP poll respondents

Found on the Libertarian Party’s website at lp.org
posted by Staff on Jul 5, 2013

When National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the criminal ways in which the U.S. government is violating the privacy rights of Americans, Big Government Democrats and Republicans immediately began to demonize him and canceled his passport while they strongarmed other countries into denying him asylum. A majority of visitors to LP.org, however, have praised Snowden as a hero and overwhelmingly advocated big, bold cuts to the government’s surveillance powers.

In poll results collected as of June 17, comprising 4,457 respondents (excluding the 695 who selected the “different combination” option), at least 88 percent advocated repealing the Patriot Act, the NDAA, FISA, and every other law that violates Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, and at least 75 percent agreed that the NSA should be abolished.

At least 54 percent of those who took the poll thought that Snowden should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for shining a spotlight on how our militaristic security state has grown unaccountably out of control.

The Libertarian Party is the only political party that has, since its founding 42 years ago, fought to restore the privacy rights established by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. By electing Libertarian candidates, the American people can reclaim their privacy and be free of the threat of warrantless searches by powerful and abusive government officials.

“Edward Snowden is a hero, not a criminal,” said Kenneth Kaplan, Libertarian Party candidate for governor of New Jersey. “If elected, I will sue the U.S. government on behalf of New Jersey residents and seek damages for violations of their Fourth Amendment rights.”

View the full poll results here and below.

How should government officials react to revelations made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden?
Abolish the NSA.
1% (56 votes)
Award Edward Snowden the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1% (52 votes)
Repeal the Patriot Act, NDAA, FISA and every other law that violates Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.
12% (547 votes)
Consolidate the federal government’s 18 spy agencies into one much smaller agency fully accountable to the American people.
3% (144 votes)
End U.S. foreign interventions in the Middle East and throughout the world to reduce the threat of terrorism.
2% (72 votes)
Cut military spending by at least 60%.
0% (5 votes)
Cut taxes and/or reduce government debt so freed-up money cannot be spent on another dangerous or unconstitutional program.
1% (41 votes)
All of the above – except for awarding Snowden the medal.
17% (769 votes)
All of the above – including awarding Snowden the medal. He’s a patriot and a hero.
45% (1991 votes)
A different combination of the above.
16% (695 votes)
None of the above.
2% (85 votes)
Total votes: 4457

24 thoughts on “Snowden should be rewarded as a hero, say LP poll respondents

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    The latest report is that both Venzuela and Nicaragua have offered Mr. Snowden asylum.

  2. LP Observer

    Lousy poll.
    What the heck.
    Why not some options such as
    “Prison for treason”
    “Death penalty for treason”.

    At least put it out there.
    Goodness, sloppy poll.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    LPO @ 2,

    “Treason” is legally defined in the US Constitution, and even if Snowden did exactly what he said he did and is accused of doing, those activities don’t fit that definition, if for no other reason than that the US, not having declared war on anyone in more than 70 years, has no “enemies” in a legal sense to be aided/comforted.

  4. George Phillies

    @3 “Treason” has two sorts. The trial of Aaron Burr tends to indicate that your argument is incomplete, in that it overlooks waging war against America. Also, your claim that ‘enemy of the United States’ requires a declared war does not appear sustained by the Constitution.

    Mind you, I believe that the traitors are to be found among the people on whom Snowden was spying, these being the people who were waging electronic warfare on most readers.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    George @ 3,

    You may recall that Burr was acquitted.

    As far as the other is concerned, the Constitution clearly defines treason in terms of war. The United States is not at war until and unless Congress declares that the United States is at war. At present, no such declaration is extant.

  6. George Phillies

    Yes, Burr was found not guilty, on the facts of the matter. “levying was on the United States” requires that the person is levying war, not that the United States is levying war on him. Thus, after the War of the Slaveholders’ Rebellion, Congress passed a blanket pardon with respect to treason against slaveholders and their armed forces.

    I shall quote a paragraph from Wikipedia “Marshall had to consider the definition of treason and whether intent was sufficient for conviction, rather than action. Marshall ruled that because Burr had not committed an act of war, he could not be found guilty (see Ex parte Bollman). Because the First Amendment guaranteed Burr the right to voice opposition to the government, “merely suggesting war or engaging in a conspiracy was not enough to require a conviction.”[citation needed] To be convicted of treason, Marshall ruled, an overt act of participation must be proven with evidence. Intention to divide the union was not an overt act: “There must be an actual assembling of men for the treasonable purpose, to constitute a levying of war.”[citation needed] Marshall further supported his decision by indicating that the Constitution stated that two witnesses must see the same overt act against the country. Marshall narrowly construed the definition of treason provided in Article III of the Constitution; he noted that the prosecution had failed to prove that Burr had committed an “overt act,” as the Constitution required.[citation needed] As a result, the jury acquitted the defendant. Marshall’s rulings led to increased animosity between the President and the Chief Justice.”

  7. paulie

    BTW the correct answer is of course All of the above – including awarding Snowden the medal. He’s a patriot and a hero.

  8. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    LP Observer, why do you think Snowden committed treason? How has he aided our enemies? What really happened, when it comes right down to it, is that he embarrassed Obama and his assorted three-letter agencies. I believe everyone involved knew what they were doing is wrong.

  9. Waldo TerraFirma

    LPO did not express that opinion, which LPO may or may not hold (I guess we’ll see), only that it should have been one of the poll options if the poll’s intent had been to accurately gauge a full sampling of opinions. Of course, it wasn’t.

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    You’re right about that LPO didn’t say that Snowden is guilty of treason.

    Or, there’s an alternate answer: Most things. Maybe soon the answer will be: Everything.

  11. Dave Terry

    Doesn’t anyone recall the House Un-American Activities [whatever THAT means] Commitee (HUAC) where failing to answer the question;
    “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party” was grounds for contempt-of-Congress convictions and the blacklisting of many who refused to answer its questions.

    The supreme irony is that during the early part of this period, the ONLY communist government in the world was an ALLY of the US in its war on Germay and Japan.

    Have Americans EVER known who the enemy is?

  12. NewFederalist

    Actually, it was HCUA not HUAC. The media called it HUAC because they felt it was Un-American the way they persecuted certain persons brought before them to testify.

  13. Waldo TerraFirma

    Well, if so, “the media” was right. But thanks, I did not know that about the name, or didn’t remember.

  14. Tom Blanton

    Under the Walt Kelly paradigm, all whistleblowers (including Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning) aid and abet the enemy – the enemy being us.

    Clearly, Snowden is not guilty of Un-American Activity since fucking with the government is as American as apple pie, moonshine, hybrid sinsemilla and cheating on your taxes.

    I don’t really consider Snowden a hero as he didn’t go beyond the call of duty. That would have entailed much more than just telling us what has already been widely reported for many years. Now, if he had unleashed some sort of virus that would have brought down the NSA’s computers, that would have really been beyond the call of duty. As it stands, he merely did what any decent human being should do.

    Much is made of Snowden giving up a cushy gig paying big bucks doing something that is totally immoral. I’m not sure “hero” is the best term to describe that behavior.

    But, I’m willing to call Snowden a hero if it will help inspire insipid bureaucrat parasites to quit their jobs and fuck with the government. I just hope he finds asylum and isn’t assassinated by the assholes Americans have chosen to rule them.

  15. Andy

    Tom Blanton said: “Much is made of Snowden giving up a cushy gig paying big bucks doing something that is totally immoral. I’m not sure ‘hero’ is the best term to describe that behavior.”

    This is more than most people would have done, so yes, I’d call his actions heroic.

    “But, I’m willing to call Snowden a hero if it will help inspire insipid bureaucrat parasites to quit their jobs and fuck with the government.”

    The Libertarian Party and other libertarian organizations ought to come out with some kind of Government Corruption Whistle Blower of the Year award, which would hopefully inspire more people within government to go public with examples of corruption.

  16. Dave Terry

    @16; HUAC was after the war.

    Wrong;
    “House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, established in 1938 under Martin Dies as chairman, that conducted investigations through the 1940s and ’50s into alleged communist activities.

  17. Waldo TerraFirma

    They were not going after communists while there was a US-Soviet alliance during the war.

  18. From Der Sidelines

    The ultimate irony would be for Bolivia to grant him asylum (they have) and then appoint him their Ambassador to the U.S. (with full diplomatic immunity!).

  19. Waldo TerraFirma

    He might have an “accident” or just disappear. Then again, that could happen in Bolivia or anywhere else too.

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