Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Snowden and the Law

A few people, both libs and cons, are criticizing Edward Snowden for not nobly allowing himself to be arrested so he could practice civil disobedience from an American jail. Unfortunately, as Bradley Manning has shown us, political civil disobedience from jail is no longer an option.

If American justice got its hands of Snowden...
  • He would be incarcerated for years before there is even an earnest attempt at a trial. Manning was imprisoned for three years before his trial began.
  • He would not be in solitary confinement but isolation confinement. No family nor friend visits and lawyer visits restricted. Even his jailers would treat him as an unperson and refuse to speak to him.
  • He would be subject to an array of psychological tortures designed to drive him insane.
  • He would be denied writing material - there would be no "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" for Snowden.
  • If he held a hunger strike, as Gandhi was famous for, Snowden would be strapped down, a tube shoved down his throat, and he would be forcibly fed.
The United States government has learned a lot about imprisoning enemies of the state from the primitive days of  Bull Connor and P. W. Botha. The US government knows that the most important thing is to turn the prisoner into an unperson, someone who effectively ceases to exist and that psychological torture is more effective than physical torture. I am confident that the Hoover Building has a secret Room 101 waiting for Snowden.

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