Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden Should Be Publicly Hanged, Former Intel Committee Vice Chairman Says

Let's be more like Iran or ISIS



Former Senator Saxby Chambliss may have pulled himself out of office but he hasn't pulled himself out of the public eye. And he's still upset about Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed the National Security Agency's massive domestic surveillance operations. Via The Hill:

"We need to hang him on the courthouse square as soon was we get our hands on him," retired Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) — who served as vice chairman of the powerful intelligence panel before stepping down from Congress last year — said during an appearance at the University of Georgia this month.

"I hope none of you have any sympathy for him," he told students at the Terry College of Business.

Many young people, in fact, do have sympathy, and more, for Snowden, who took a big risk to bring attention to government acts he, and many others, believed to be unconstitutional. It's a very American thing to do. Conservatives like Chambliss pay a lot of lip service to not trusting government and to the power of the individual over the government but that lip service is usually limited to what fits their own partisan, sectarian goals.

To a conservative, government can't be trusted to, say, take over healthcare or roll out national education standards, but can be trusted to spy on the world and wage war from death machines in the sky thousands of miles away. This cognitive dissonance is a big reason conservatives can't take advantage of the "libertarian moment" electorally. Conservatives may say their skeptical of government, and may be described that way, but most people can see that that skepticism and distrust is conveniently selective.

The U.S., of course, doesn't practice public executions. What Chambliss is arguing is that the U.S. adopt a practice only a few countries around the world adhere to. In 2013, just four countries were known to conduct public executions: Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia. Since then, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, an aspirational state, has also began to conduct public executions.