Edward Snowden's actions confronts us with a vexing problem. Because of Snowden's actions we are now burdened with the knowledge and evidence that we live in a surveillance state. We are confronted with our complacency. A fundamental question begs an answer. What does it now mean to be an American?
Snowden's release of illegal NSA activities under the Obama administration confronts the left with with a moral conundrum. It was easy to have righteous indignation with torture, secret prisons, enhanced interrogation, Guantanamo Bay as the evil work of the dastardly Cheney Bush Rumsfeld Gang but the illegal NSA activities are on Obama's watch. Imagine for a moment, Snowden had released the NSA documents during the Cheney administration. There wouldn't be enough ink in the world to cover the left's outrage.
Snowden's actions confronts the conservative fallacy of being a stout defenders of the Constitution. One must suspend logic, reason and commonsense to square the NSA activities with the framers original intent. Patriot Bill, FISA rulings, secret courts?
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." is now only meekly mumbled.
If Snowden hadn't informed us we could still happily pretend we're exceptional and the rightful heirs to the liberties and American values expressed by our forefathers. But now that we know and still we just sit compliantly.
If we can, with the help of the media keep the discussion focused on Snowden's personality or question his goals, and motivations we can avoid talking about the fact we obediently live in a surveillance state and have accepted the Fourth Amendment's castration.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It is difficult to feel "exceptional" when we tolerate living in a "democracy" whose government spies on just about everything it can under the pretense of making us "safe" and "free".