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We Should Not Support Politicians Who Call Upholding The Constitution A Criminal Act

Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, is now charged with stealing government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified information. In total, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. These accusations are just a starting point, as the government can always add further charges to the indictment.
Then there are those, mostly politicians looking for a headline, who claim Snowden should be charged with treason, which carries a potential for the death penalty.

But all of this talk of criminality and sending Snowden to prison – or worse – presupposes that what Snowden did was contrary to the law and to his oath as a government employee.

The federal employee oath, also taken by Members of Congress, says: “I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

It is worth noting that the members of the military, both officers and enlisted, take a similar oath. The enlisted oath also includes a section binding them to obey “lawful orders.” Officers take no oath to obey orders.

What if a court found that the acts the government was carrying out -- and ordering Snowden to engage in -- were in fact illegal, or not “lawful?”

What if it is the government itself that is the law-breaker, by violating the Constitution (the law that governs government) and Edward Snowden is merely supplying the corrective action necessary to bring the government back inside its proper constitutional bounds?

Wouldn’t Snowden be supporting and defending the Constitution by doing so?

As Judge Andrew A. Napolitano observed in an op-ed for The Washington Times, when Edward Snowden began his work as an NSA contractor, he took two oaths. The first oath was to keep secret the classified materials to which he would be exposed in his work as a spy; the second oath was to uphold the Constitution.

“Shortly after Mr. Snowden began his work with the NSA, he came to the realization that he could not comply with both oaths. He realized that by keeping secret what he learned, he was keeping the American public in the dark about what its government is doing outside the Constitution in order to control the public.”

“When confronted with the conflicting oaths, Mr. Snowden opted for the higher good: fidelity to the supreme law of the land. Hence, in order to protect the privacy of us all, Mr. Snowden violated the lesser oath and upheld the greater one. He could not serve two masters when the lesser of the two (fidelity to the government’s laws) facilitated a corruption of the greater of the two (the primacy to the Constitution),” said Judge Napolitano.

Edward Snowden was confronted with a raw personal choice.

Should he uphold the government’s laws, even if on their face they violate the Constitution, or should he uphold the Constitution?

Snowden, at risk of life and freedom, chose to act to stop those presently in power in Washington, DC from secretly eroding our constitutionally guaranteed liberties.

As citizens, we have a less threatening, but equally daunting, task. We have to make sure that those we support and vote for will execute the duties of their offices with absolute fidelity to the Constitution.

That means we have to set aside Party labels and loyalties and use the power of the ballot box to face down and vote out of office officials who misconstrue the Constitution to permit those in power to use the vast resources of the federal government to spy on their fellow Americans -- and by doing so, erode our liberties and corrupt our constitutional form of government.

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Guarding the Constitution

We all know that our SCOTUS, POTUS, and all of the elected and appointed representatives in DC are dedicated to defending the Constitution, that is, if it serves their purposes at the time. Otherwise, it is an out-of-date document framed by a group of lawless rebels.

That is, if I can EVER solve the CAPTCHA and get this sent . . . at least 12 tries and the colored one case sensitive?


I too think Snowden may have done what he did in defense of the Constitution. I am terribly worried when the Former VP Cheny got on the air and called Snowden a "Traitor". I see others are calling for him to be tried for Treason (a capital charge). And then we hear that the State Department has revoked his Passport. I sounds to me as though the powers that be, don't want Snowden to ever return to face trial and all the hoopla they are creating is to scare the heck out of him. But, it scares me too. I say try Sbnowden in absentia. That way, his defense counsel can subpoena evidence and the truth can come out.
I'd like to know more about Snowden's history. Apparently he qualified for a secret clearance and was trusted with the data he was handling. I'd like to know about his family life, any possible criminal history, etc. I just can't immagine what could make him do this dramatic thing. And, that's what i want to know.

the constitution is paramount

that's why I voted for Ron Paul and not Mitt Romney

NDAA & Patriot act are not constitutional