Congressman Tom McClintock is against amnesty, or so he says. He’s against amnesty for an 18 year old high school valedictorian with straight “A”s who was brought here illegally as a child. He is against amnesty for the Latinos who labor in the fields in 100 degree weather picking crops for the McClintock table or for the hard working undocumented immigrant who cuts the McClintock lawn. He’s a hard liner on no immigration amnesty.
But now McClintock has announced that he’s found someone after all who deserves amnesty: none other than NSA leaker Edward Snowden, recently indicted for espionage. “I think it would be best if the American government grants Snowden amnesty, to get him back to America where he can answer questions without the threat of prosecution,” McClintock told a Sacramento television station. “We have some very good laws against sharing secrets. He broke those laws. On the other hand, he broke them for a very good reason, because those laws were being used in direct contravention of our Fourth Amendment rights as Americans.”
Leaving aside the fact that no court has found the NSA files leaked by Snowden in direct contravention to the 4th Amendment or anything else (I guess McClintock thinks he’s his own Supreme Court), McClintock’s call for Snowden amnesty is both disingenuous and dangerous. Just last week US embassies across the Middle East were closed down because of a conversation Ayman al-Zawahari had with the head of Al Qaeda in Yemen telling him to kill Americans. Ayman al-Zawahiri, in case you’ve forgotten, is the new head of Al Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden. He has been in on every terror act against the United States since the Twin Towers in 2001, and supported the Al Qaeda attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that led to the death of the US Ambassador. He’s someone whose communications are worth listening to; however, thanks to Snowden’s leaks Al-Zawahiri now knows we are listening to him.
But McClintock apparently sees nothing wrong with letting Al-Zawahiri know the NSA is in on his terror plans, because that is exactly what Snowden accomplished, and for this McClintock believes Snowden is something of a hero. He made public a huge NSA security surveillance apparatus that has been keeping Americans safe for the past dozen years. McClintock thus places himself on the same side as the far left anti-security zealots who have been trying for years to tear down the security apparatus; who hate the Patriot Act and anything that sacrifices some personal privacy to keep us safe.
Why would McClintock want to weaken our security, well, he is part of an emerging group of fringe Republicans who can best be described as neo-anarchists. The American government at all levels is the enemy. Led by McClintock’s soul mates in the US Senate, they plan to shut down the US government in the fall if the Democrats do not defund Obamacare (which they won’t). The national security apparatus is just another tool of the enemy, so of course they love what Snowden has done.
In 1940, people like McClintock argued against arming America for the coming war on the grounds that if we just don’t have any military we can keep out of war. Pearl Harbor proved how wrong they were, as did 9/11 sixty years later. But the neo-anarchists hate the government so much they don’t want it even to be protecting us from terrorists. So the next time the NSA does not listen to Al-Zawahiri’s phone calls and he succeeds in killing thousands of Americans you can thank Edward Snowden and his apologist Tom McClintock.