Gene Healy Says Sometimes a 'Willingness To Steal' From the Government is a Good Thing



On Monday, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden beamed himself into a packed room at the South by Southwest festival in AustinTexas, telling the crowd he broke the law to expose NSA spying because "the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale." Snowden shouldn't have gotten a hearing, insisted an irate Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)—his "only apparent qualification is his willingness to steal from his own government." Gene Healy recalls a similar situation forty-three years ago, when an unlikely band of antiwar activists calling themselves "The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI" broke into a bureau branch office, making off with reams of classified documents and exposing a secret, unconstitutional war against American citizens.