Sunday, September 25, 2016

hero or traitor?

(probably no spoilers)

I'm pleased that Oliver Stone took on the project of making a movie about Ed Snowden.  I think what Snowden did took tremendous courage.  During the course of the movie, I inevitably compared my career choices with his.  And if I'm being brutally honest, I don't think I could have done what he did, assuming I had his same mad computing skills.  It's hard to say because he was being constantly bombarded with such egregious privacy abominations (if we can believe Oliver Stone's version), which might drive an ordinary person to do extraordinary things. 

But, his colleagues were similarly uncomfortable and didn't have the courage and/or circumstances to blow the whistle.  I was wondering while watching this movie what they were all thinking and feeling when they saw what he did.  Obviously the movie added dramatic flair and artistic license.  I also wondered if the last guards who saw him knew that they inadvertently let him walk away with all of that data.  And are they proud of him or ashamed?

Go see this movie.  It's important to discuss, even if you think he did wrong.  Several times, I got chills and goosebumps on my arms pondering the ramifications.  Make sure if you go with someone, to plan time afterward to confabulate with them while it's fresh in your mind.  I went with an East German friend of mine, who eerily said it was exactly like living in East Germany before the wall came down, knowing that all of your conversations were being recorded and you were constantly under surveillance.

Will this movie change anyone's mind or just solidify what we all already thought?  Will our president or congress think further on the matter?   Will more courageous people come forward if they see our country going against our founding principles?  Will journalists have the grit to ask the difficult questions and present the hard-to-hear facts?

Hero or traitor?

Mutha'fkn hero!  Duh.

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