Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Happy Birthday, Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, birthday, surveillance, whistleblower, patriot, sacrifice, NSA

Edward Snowden turns 35 today and begins another year as a fugitive stuck in Russia.

Five years ago, he fled the country to Hong Kong, meeting with The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras to discuss documents he had released showing illegal National Security Agency collection of our phone records, social media posts and mega other metadata.

It is not merely Snowden who calls the NSA’s programs unconstitutional, or me, but how a federal judge ruled.

Remember when James Clapper, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, wittingly misled Congress by claiming our private information was not being swept up, except “unwittingly.” We only know that Clapper fibbed because of what Snowden divulged.

“[T]he breaking point was seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress,” Snowden has explained. “There’s no saving an intelligence community that believes it can lie to the public and the legislators who need to be able to trust it and regulate its actions.”

Clapper is free, collecting his pension. Snowden has been indicted under the Espionage Act, which unconstitutionally limits his defense.

Snowden sure has paid for his courage. He was making very good money, and living with his girlfriend in Hawaii, when he decided he had a duty to alert us to our government’s lawlessness — at the cost of his livelihood, his future, his very life, perhaps.

While our leaders call him a traitor, I call him “friend.”*

Edward Snowden is a friend of every American who cherishes our Fourth Amendment right “to be secure in [our] persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Freedoms the government was secretly stomping upon.

It is time to bring him home.**

Ed Snowden, thank you for your service. Happy Birthday!

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* I feel a connection to Mr. Snowden, and have an inkling of what it’s like to do what you believe is right and to find yourself wanted by the government, on the run, far from home.

** Snowden deserves a presidential pardon. But he has said he would even return to face prosecution, provided the charges did not preclude him from defending his actions in open court.


PDF for printing


By: CS Admin


  1. John F Brennan says:

    As for a pardfon, I do not have sufficient information to form a knowledgeable position. I have, however, formed a belief Mr. Snowden should have an unfettered right to defend himself, for without persons who are willing to expose such secretive but intentional wrongdoing, in this case with great personal risk, there is no chance of any correction, rather only possible result of a “do defense policy” must be an intensification of the problem.
    As for Mr. Clapper, he should be given the same opportunity to explain his actions for his mindset and “leadership” appears to be the more dangerous of the two transgressions.
    Acting on the belief that any individual or government agency is allowed to intentionally violate of the Constitutional and natural rights of the citizens, and to lie about it is, in my opinion at the apex of high treason against our Republic.
    Whether the actions of Mr. Smowden were justified and excusable should be determined by a jury made up of the citizens the Constitution is meant to protect, and Mr. Clapper should be have the same opportunity.

  2. Not So Free says:

    Unfortunately, if he did return to the U S for “trial”, I seriously doubt he would be alive long enough to make to a courtroom.

  3. Lynn Atherton Bloxham says:

    See, i know and well remember your “unpopular choice”.  And by all means a full pardon.  Thanks to Snowden and thanks so much to you. Hi and good thoughts to you and family. 

  4. Karen H says:

    Mixed feelings about this article. I do think that Mr. Snowden deserves a fair trial with ALL rights & means of defense accorded to any American Citizen. Revealing classified info to a newspaper or other media outlet is not legal & is a treasonable act. I do appreciate the whistle he blew on the NSA. However, was there no other smarter way to divulge these transgressions by the NSA? Maybe not.

    Not quick to pardon him nor condemn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2020 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top