Goeffrey Stone is a law professor and former dean at the University of Chicago Law School, a generally well-respected one. But his reaction to Edward Snowden’s leaking of the details of the government’s illegal spying is breathtakingly ridiculous.
In my judgment, based on what I know from the media thus far, Snowden is neither a hero nor a traitor, but he is most certainly a criminal who deserves serious punishment. What should he have done? Probably, he should have presented his concerns to senior, responsible members of Congress. But the one thing he most certainly should not have done is to decide on the basis of his own ill-informed, arrogant and amateurish judgment that he knows better than everyone else in government how best to serve the national interest. The rule of law matters, and no one gave Edward Snowden the authority to make that decision for the nation.
Is he freaking serious? If the rule of law matters, and I certainly agree that it does, then revealing the government’s clearly illegal actions is supporting the rule of law, isn’t it? Snowden took an oath to support the Constitution, not the government, and there is no doubt that collecting otherwise private data on everyone who uses a cell phone in this country is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment.
And he isn’t making any decision for the nation, he’s giving the nation an opportunity to make an informed decision. That is not possible when the citizens don’t have any idea what their government is doing to them. Holy shit, this is just pure idiocy.