The Flinchum File

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Improbable But Appropriate

In Army Basic Training, we were taught that, if we were ever captured by the enemy, we can only release our name, rank, and serial number.  In Officer Candidate School, we were taught to choose death over dishonor.  In Special Forces, we were taught techniques to better withstand torture, such as deep breathing and the mental game of disassociation.  If that failed, remember the pain you’re absorbing would go to your family if you talked.  You take the pain for those you love.

Not surprisingly, my knee-jerk reaction when I head about Edward Snowden leaking secrets was that he must be captured and executed as quickly as possible.  With the passage of time, my worst fears about government snooping have been realized, although it does seems to be more pervasive but less invasive, at least so far.  There is a reasonable argument that Snowden has done the world a favor by exposing the government snooping, which is even more insidious than Google.

So, is Snowden a hero . . . or scum . . . or both?  My suggestion is that he be awarded the Presidential Medal, the highest civilian medal, in recognition for the awareness he has created.  Then, he should be promptly executed!

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, he who would trade security for privacy will have neither.  I look forward to tight, new controls on the zealots of NSA!