Tribute to people like Snowden

Regarding Daniel Ellsberg’s July 9 article “Leaker Snowden made the right call“: Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg are heroes. More than that they are true patriots. They love America and its fundamental values so much that they were willing to sacrifice their careers and, if necessary, their freedom to try to rescue their country from itself. They are the epitome of what makes America and Americans different from many other countries and peoples.

In a complex world and society they were still able to discern right from wrong and had the courage to do the right thing — speak the truth to the people and to a powerful and potentially vindictive government. When their government egregiously overstepped its mandate, violated the peoples’ trust and eroded the very foundation of their way of life, these patriots stepped forward and sacrificed themselves as a corrective mechanism seemingly inherent in the U.S. system. America’s founders would be proud.

Now the U.S. government is embarrassing itself by carrying on a gangsterlike vendetta reminiscent of the Mafia’s view and treatment of “rats.” They are trying to intimidate both Snowden and any person or country that might support him, violating international comity and law in the process.

Indeed, the real culprits in this sad and sordid saga are the liars, hypocrites, incompetents, enablers and cowards who knew — and knew better — but remained silent.

Now some of these same people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, pointing fingers at others, hiding behind a veil of “secrecy” or trying to silence and punish such heroes for exposing their arbitrary, capricious and venal practices. They are the real “enemies of the people” and of fundamental American principles and values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

Indeed, their behavior mocks the spirit of America. Thanks to people like Ellsberg and Snowden, there is a chance of beating them back and restoring and preserving the essence of America for future generations. Americans owe them a debt of gratitude.

mark j. valencia
kaneohe, hawaii

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • smacarol

    Mr. Valencia’s comment makes me proud to be an expatriate (which I assume he is, too). I live in Mexico and I totally agree