Charles Moore: Snowden et al sacrifice your safety to their false gods
The whistleblower's betrayal will not enhance civil liberties and will simply benefit those who wish to embarrass the Western world, says Charles Moore
In traditional acco-unts of Hell, sinners end up with punishments that fit their crimes. Rumour-mongers have their tongues cut out; usurers wear chains of burning gold. On this basis, it will be entirely fitting if Edward Snowden spends eternity in a Moscow airport lounge.
Having betrayed his own state, the man who revealed the secrets of the US National Security Agency (NSA) needs to find out what it is like to live at the mercy of other states. Acting in the name of a morality which disdains allegiance to the rule of national law, he deserves to see what life is like beyond its protection. When he thought, last week, that Ecuador was going to give him political asylum, he wrote an oily letter to its president in which he declared that the US system of surveillance was "a grave violation of our universal human rights". Now let him find out how hollow those rights are when not guaranteed within a democratic legal order. Let him eat the free peanuts in the transit lounge of life, and learn, too late, what is needed to defend a free people.
I gather that WikiLeaks worshippers have been disappointed that the citizens of Britain and the United States have not acclaimed Snowden's courage nor been shocked by his revelations. Public opinion seems to have given a worldly shrug and said, "Obviously, our secret services spy on us in cyberspace; what's all the fuss?"