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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, December 20, 2013

No greater act of loyalty to the Constitution -- By Michael P. Orsi, The Washington Times

Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times (Illustration by Linas Garsys, The Washington Times)

Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon declared that the bulk of the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' telephone records is likely to violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution's ban on unreasonable search.

Some legal experts contend that this may be the first step in a march to the Supreme Court. It may also be the beginning of the rehabilitation of Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who disclosed almost 200,000 classified documents to the press. Mr. Snowden has obtained limited asylum in Russia to avoid prosecution in the United States for espionage. In a recent statement, Mr. Snowden praised the ruling saying, "I acted on my belief that the NSA's mass-surveillance programs would not stand a constitutional challenge."

If this statement is true, the question must be asked: Should he have fled the United States?

If he is truly a whistleblowing patriot, there would be no greater act of loyalty to the Constitution than to return and face a trial. Mr. Snowden would be granted every protection afforded by the law. The high-profile attention that this story has already garnered in the media would also guarantee an open discussion on the rights of citizens and the extent that the government can go to protect national security. By fleeing the United States in May, Mr. Snowden, the current face of the controversy, has deprived Americans of the opportunity for a much-needed national debate on these topics.

In a possible move to pre-empt this discussion, a White House advisory panel on Wednesday recommended to President Obama that the NSA no longer store the massive phone database. This may well indicate awareness of the public's distrust of the government's intrusion into their private lives. Tellingly, public opinion is now swinging in Mr. Snowden's favor. The panel's recommendation may be designed to prevent further restrictions on the intelligence community.

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