As head of the U.S. Senate Intelligence committee, I understand the threat Edward Snowden’s leaks pose to American lives and interests. If Snowden wants to be able to claim the proud mantle of civil disobedience, he must return to the country to face the consequences of his actions. This means that on his return to the U.S., he and any journalists with him will be detained immediately and executed shortly thereafter.
True patriotism consists of accepting the repercussion of one’s crimes. Snowden has made his bed, now he must lie in it. Of course by “lie in it,” I mean be ripped out of it in the middle of the night by the 42nd Division of the National Guard and led to his death.
Whistle-blowing is essential to a good government. This whole situation could have been a lot simpler if Snowden had taken this information to a superior or a congressman. Then, the official could have just brought him into a back room and murdered him. That would have been the right thing for Snowden to do.
We are fighting a global war on terror that threatens everything we hold most dear: democracy, freedom, the rule of law. In a perfect world, we would give Snowden a trial. However in these turbulent times, anything but death by shooting squad is utterly impossible.
This is not to say that the National Security Agency is perfect. Reforms should certainly be considered. In fact, Congress, along with the president, has been looking at ways to protect the American people’s privacy while keeping the country safe. However, the man responsible for starting this national conversation must be eliminated in order to discourage people from ever trying to start a conversation like this again.
Edward Snowden claims to be a patriot, but he went against the wishes of the president and most of Congress. By definition, patriotism is unyielding obedience to those in power. He cannot be a patriot if he defies the government. Despite the damage he has done, this unfortunate saga could still have a positive ending. If Snowden simply agreed to be brutally executed by the government, he could show the world what a real American hero looks like.