By Matthew Rothschild on June 10, 2013

Courage and principle are, for once, in the news.

I'm referring, of course, to Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, and Edward Snowden, the whistleblower.

They both, at considerable risk to their own freedom, have done everything in their power to defend our freedoms as Americans.

By exposing the vast NSA spying operation that the Obama Administration has been running, both Greenwald and especially Snowden may face prosecution.

And Snowden, rather than remain anonymous, has chosen to come forward as the source of Greenwald's expose, saying with great fortitude: "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know have done nothing wrong."

He has no illusions about being safe. "I understand," he said, "that I will be made to suffer for my actions," and he reportedly is now in hiding somewhere in Hong Kong.

As with Bradley Manning, Snowden's critics are already charging that he's helping America's enemies.

But he's doing no such thing.

"My sole motive," he said, "is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

He added: "I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom, and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."

Already, Greenwald and Snowden have sparked a much-needed debate about the USA Patriot Act, the powers of the NSA, and our vanishing Fourth Amendment.

Glenn Greenwald deserves a Pulitzer Prize for this scoop, and Edward Snowden deserves all of our thanks.

He is an American hero.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Stop the Trial of Bradley Manning.

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

Section: 

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

More

Wisconsin workers face a lousy jobs picture this Labor Day.

Here, for Labor Day, are the top ten working class hero movies of all time.

At a swank club in Madison, Walker supporters get an earful.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

Progressive Media Project

Newsletter

Get Breaking News and Alerts!