Washington Post columnist, Matt Miller, is offended by Edward Snowden’s “grandiose” conscience:
An Internet-era J. Edgar Hoover is frightening to conjure. But what Snowden exposed was not some rogue government-inside-the-government conspiracy. It’s a program that’s legal, reviewed by Congress and subject to court oversight.
The conversation would be entirely different today if we’d had a series of attacks since Sept. 11, 2001. As the Wall Street Journal editorial page (with which I don’t usually nod in agreement) wrote, if the nation suffered another 9/11 or an attack with weapons of mass destruction, “the political responses could include biometric national ID cards, curfews, surveillance drones over the homeland, and even mass roundups of ethnic or religious groups.” Practices like data mining, the Journal added, “protect us against far greater intrusions on individual freedom.”
What Miller and the Wall Street Journal are appealing to is exactly the same line of reasoning employed by Bashir al-Assad and every other authoritarian leader: if I don’t limit your freedom, then you will lose it altogether.
Dissenters duly rebuked are then expected to shut their mouths in recognition of the greater good. (H/t Philip Weiss.)