There is an interesting bit of reverse symbolism in the Edward Snowden case. Snowden releases top-secret National Security Agency documents revealing phone and Internet surveillance taking place in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Fearing prosecution for his multiple breaches of federal law, Snowden takes refuge in China — one of the most repressive nations in the world. In China there is essentially no Internet freedom and security services monitor its subjects from cradle to grave.
It would be like convicted swindler and televangelist Jim Bakker taking refuge in Saudi Arabia rather than face the music in the U.S.
What Snowden did — as former U. N. Ambassador John Bolton pointed out in a Newsmax interview — is not leaking or a policy dispute. It’s quite simply treason. If Snowden had sent the documents to a Chinese security contact in exchange for money, even the Obama administration and Eric "Hands Off" Holder would have no doubt been motivated enough to charge him with spying, just as earlier administrations charged Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen with treason for spying for the Russians.
But federal prosecutors have trouble coming down equally hard on a spy that releases his information to the world in exchange for fame. The media treats it like a bullying Uncle Sam is coming down on an Internet Robin Hood. Reporters simply assume a government program that gathers information and is being kept secret must be wrong. Therefore, Snowden must be a hero.
As a result, Snowden misses out on receiving money in exchange for the secrets, but China still gets the information, along with Russia, Iran, and various jihadists. Meanwhile, Snowden assumes the mantle of Courageous Whistleblower with all the attendant praise from the left and invitations to appear on MSNBC.
Instead of treason, Snowden will be charged with some lesser offense that still comes with a lengthy jail sentence, but not the shame — to say nothing of a potential death penalty — of a treason verdict.
If Snowden is able to dodge the extradition man and make his home in the People’s Republic of China, one thing is certain: His leaking career is over. China takes treason seriously.
The penalty is a bullet in the back of the head and your relatives are presented with a bill for the ammunition.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.
© Mike Reagan