Who is the Traitor, Cheney or Snowden?

By: Lázaro Fariñas

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu

2013-07-02 | 14:18:29 EST
Former CIA agent Valerie Plame does not believe that Edward Snowden, the man who put the Government of the United States in the middle of an international scandal, is a traitor to his country, as Dick Cheney,  the reactionary former vice-president of George W. Bush, has said. 

Mrs. Plame considers very ironic the fact that the former vice-president refers to Snowden as a traitor for bringing to public light that the American government keeps under surveillance, reads and listens not only the American citizens; but also the citizens of the entire world by means of internet, social networks, and national and international telephone calls.

Valerie Plame also considers an irony Cheney’s accusations against Snowden, since it was precisely Cheney and the people surrounded him who leaked her own true identity to the media, betraying her and the American intelligence agencies. This action was done just to discredit Valerie’s husband, the author of a report denying the supposed purchase of  enriched uranium made in Africa by Saddam Hussein’s government, as it had been announced by the administration of former President George Bush as part of a campaign of  fear and lies carried out to justify the invasion to Iraq. 

Taking into account that it was Cheney who leaked Valerie Plame’s identity to the media, Cheney is the one that should be accused of being a traitor. That was a real act of  treason. The denounce of a serving agent of intelligence made by an official who has access to such kind of  classified information can not be considered in any other way but a  treason. Nevertheless, nothing happened to Cheney; only the Head of his Office  was accused and condemned to the ridiculous sentence of 30 months in prison, from which he did not serve a single day, thanks to the its suspension by President Bush.

Cheney walked out this case victorious, though it is quite difficult to believe that he was not the one who ordered to leak this information to the press, or at least, that he wasn’t aware of the denounce.

Valerie, the former CIA agent doesn’t believe either that Edward Snowden could be a hero for what he did. Thought she doesn’t support him, she believes that American citizens own him gratitude because he put such an important debate about privacy violation in the spotlight.

She also considers that the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) should resign because he spends almost 70 % of the budget of intelligence in private contractors who do not have the security level to keep the confidential information as top-secret.

Edward Snowden was not an agent of intelligence of the United States when the scandal was uncovered; he was an employee of a private company of intelligence subcontracted by the National Security Agency. Technically, he was not a government employee, therefore; he was not controlled by the same rules running for any other official agent. Though the fact he wasn’t a regular agent of intelligence does not means he didn’t sign a contract of confidentiality about the information he had access to, and when he published that information, he did not respect what he had signed.

It is possible to think that Snowden, in a conscious act, had the moral need of making public the information about the violation of the citizen’s privacy, and that fact can put him within the category of a decent man; but it does not release him from accepting the consequences of his actions.

This is not a problem of  freedom of information. This is not the case of a journalist who receives a classified information and publishes it, making use of his professional freedom. An example of this is the information received by WikiLeaks and they decision to give them to the media for further publication. They didn’t have a contract which forced them to maintain in secret the reports they received.

On the other hand, Snowden can not be accused of spying, as the American justice already has done, because Snowden didn’t work for any of international spying agency.

If  Snowden is not a spy, neither a traitor, nor a hero, then how can Edward Snowden be classed?

Translated by ESTI

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