avatar
David Brooks, Tom Friedman, Bill Keller Wish Snowden Had Just Followed Orders


Edward Snowden’s disclosures, the New York Times reported on Sunday, “have renewed a longstanding concern: that young Internet aficionados whose skills the agencies need for counterterrorism and cyberdefense sometimes bring an anti-authority spirit that does not fit the security bureaucracy.” 

10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> 

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> 

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> 

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> 

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Brooks denounced Snowden as “a traitor” during a June 14 appearance on the PBS NewsHour, saying indignantly: “He betrayed his oath, which was given to him and which he took implicitly and explicitly. He betrayed his company, the people who gave him a job, the people who trusted him. . . . He betrayed the democratic process. It’s not up to a lone 29-year-old to decide what's private and public. We have — actually have procedures for that set down in the Constitution and established by tradition.” 

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#313131;background:white”>Enthralled with lockstep compliance, Brooks preached the conformist gospel: “When you work for an institution, any institution, a company, a faculty, you don't get to violate the rules of that institution and decide for your own self what you’re going to do in a unilateral way that no one else can reverse. And that's exactly what he did. So he betrayed the trust of the institution. He betrayed what creates a government, which is being a civil servant, being a servant to a larger cause, and not going off on some unilateral thing because it makes you feel grandiose.” font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#313131;background:white”>In sync with such bombast, Tom Friedman and former
Times executive editor Bill Keller have promoted a notably gutless argument for embracing the NSA’s newly revealed surveillance programs. Friedman wrote (on June 12) and Keller agreed (June 17) that our government is correct to curtail privacy rights against surveillance — because if we fully retained those rights and then a big terrorist attack happened, the damage to civil liberties would be worse. 

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#313131;background:white”>What a contrast between big-name journalists craven enough to toss the Fourth Amendment overboard and whistleblowers courageous enough to risk their lives for civil liberties.Norman Solomon is co-founder of