Tags: snowden | wsj | cowardice | us

WSJ: Snowden's Refusal to Return to US Shows Cowardice

Image: WSJ: Snowden's Refusal to Return to US Shows Cowardice

Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 11:57 AM

By Dan Weil

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If National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was a real man, he'd return to the United States to face the music, the Wall Street Journal believes.

And his argument that he deserves absolution, as the end justifies his means, is a dishonest one, Journal editors write in a Wednesday editorial.

"While civil disobedience is an honorable tradition, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi didn't shirk the law in the process. They courted its punishment to prove their point," the editorial states.

The editorial cites the defense Snowden offered in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine over the weekend: "Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision, and laws are being suggested," he wrote.

Snowden broke his pledge to protect U.S. secrets "and then sought the protection of China and Russia, two dictatorships that don't have America's best interests in mind," the editorial says.

"At the very least he has complicated relations with allies and handed our enemies a propaganda victory. The damage to U.S. intelligence collection is probably much worse."

If Snowden truly desired an open debate about the NSA, as he now claims, "he could have taken his whistle-blowing to Congress," the editorial says. "If that failed, he could have taken his campaign public without betraying secrets."

What would be the honorable course now?

"If Mr. Snowden really had the courage of his convictions," Journal editors wrote, "he'd leave the protection of Russia's secret police and return to face the charges of a free society." the editorial says.

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