I read and understood ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero’s suggestion in Thursday’s Herald that President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden. I agree with everything he wrote about Snowden’s heroic work in alerting Americans to our government’s actions in violation of our Fourth Amendment rights.
But Romero did not go far enough.
Benedict Arnold, too, was an American hero. He was a successful general during the Revolutionary War. No one today speaks of his capture of Fort Ticonderoga or his heroism at the Battle of Sarasota. He is remembered for his plan to surrender West Point that, at the time, was under his command.
Had Edward Snowden stopped after warning us about the NSA’s surveillance, he truly would have been a hero, but he continued — releasing documents that he certainly knew would harm the United States. Notifying the world that we had hacked into the private email of heads of friendly states alone is worthy of the punishment he is being given.
Benedict Arnold lived out his life as a resident of a nation that was his homeland’s greatest enemy. I see no reason to treat Snowden any differently. He is a traitor who tried, and succeeded, in harming these United States.
Arnold Slotkin, Hollywood