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[Tru Blu Tuesday] The Hero America Deserves

We live in perilous times. There’s much to be done to get the country back on the right path. However, there are countless villains standing in our way, keeping us from achieving our goals. Corrupt politicians, mindless media, and evil minions in every tentacle of despair wrapped around the throat of a once free and prosperous nation. Someone needs to stop it, fight back. Someone needs to make a change! We need a hero! But who?

I nominate you!

There’s an old adage that says “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I love that saying. It is so easy to criticize the problems we face, and the people who cause them. -I would know, I do it all the time. But instead of standing on the sidelines wishing for change to happen, make it happen within yourself and then impose that change on the rest of the world around you. Maybe news stations never speak your name and criminals never learn to quake in your presence. Still, you can be a hero to those around you. And even if it is just for a moral victory, you can be a hero to yourself.

We all know the whistle-blower Edward Snowden as a fugitive, on the run for a crime he didn’t commit. He saw wrong doings every day on the job as an employee of the security contractor Booz-Allen-Hamilton, working with the NSA. He came to the conclusion that something had to be done to warn the public about the atrocities going on behind the scenes. So instead of whimpering in the shadows for the rest of his career, he went up against the most powerful spy agency in the world and made a difference. It takes a lot of gumption to pull something of that extent, but Snowden realized that that is what it would take. Some say he did it for the fame or for money, and they could not be more wrong. He knew what he would be getting into. He is infamous now, despite his innocence, but he is also an inspiration.

Yesterday former New Hampshire Senator Gordon Humphrey emailed Snowden this message of encouragement:

Mr. Snowden,

Provided you have not leaked information that would put in harms way any intelligence agent, I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution.

Having served in the United States Senate for twelve years as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I think I have a good grounding to reach my conclusion.

I wish you well in your efforts to secure asylum and encourage you to persevere.

Kindly acknowledge this message, so that I will know it reached you.

Gordon J. Humphrey
Former United States Senator
New Hampshire

Ed Snowden was kind enough to reply from his hiding place in a foreign land:

Mr. Humphrey,

Thank you for your words of support. I only wish more of our lawmakers shared your principles – the actions I’ve taken would not have been necessary.

The media has distorted my actions and intentions to distract from the substance of Constitutional violations and instead focus Edward-Snowden-400x400on personalities. It seems they believe every modern narrative requires a bad guy. Perhaps it does. Perhaps, in such times, loving one’s country means being hated by its government.

If history proves that be so, I will not shy from that hatred. I will not hesitate to wear those charges of villainy for the rest of my life as a civic duty, allowing those governing few who dared not do so themselves to use me as an excuse to right these wrongs.

My intention, which I outlined when this began, is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. I remain committed to that. Though reporters and officials may never believe it, I have not provided any information that would harm our people – agent or not – and I have no intention to do so.

Further, no intelligence service – not even our own – has the capacity to compromise the secrets I continue to protect. While it has not been reported in the media, one of my specializations was to teach our people at DIA how to keep such information from being compromised even in the highest threat counter-intelligence environments (i.e. China).

You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture.

With my thanks for your service to the nation we both love,

Edward Snowden

Mr. Snowden is an example of one person taking on the responsibility of changing the world. Will all of us have the opportunity to have as much of an impact as he did? Probably not. But we can all change within ourselves the problems we perpetuate, and work towards being part of the solution instead.

If I may venture into the world of pop culture, I’d like to bring you the ending of one of my favorite movies, The Dark Knight. If there was a real life moral equivalent to Batman, it would be Ed Snowden. He’s not the hero America needs. He is the hero we deserve. You can be a hero too!

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