Mr. Snowden and the Rosenbergs

Julius Rosenberg
died this day a long time ago
In the early 50s, a couple named Rosenberg (Ethel and Julius) were convicted of being couriers for atomic bomb secrets from the US to the USSR.  They both were put to death on this date in history. Electrocuted at the federal pen at SingSing (Ossining, NY).

Ethel Rosenberg
Eyewitness testimony (as given by a newsreel report featured in the 1982 documentary film The Atomic Cafe) describes the circumstances of the Rosenbergs' death, noting that while Julius Rosenberg died after the first electric shock, his wife did not. After the normal course of three electric shocks, attendants removed the strapping and other equipment only to have doctors determine that Mrs. Rosenberg had not yet died (her heart was still beating). Two more electric shocks were applied, and at conclusion eyewitnesses reported, Bob Considine among them, that smoke rose from her head in the chamber.

Sing Sing
There was a lot of hysteria about all this at the time. McCarthy was finding a commie in every bush and the cold cold cold war was settling in.  The Rosenbergs also being Jewish didn't help as there was also a certain amount of craziness that linked commie-pinko-socialist-Jew in one long bad breath.  In any event there was little doubt that Julius had something to do with the atomic secrets and more than a little doubt that Ethel was involved at all.  Nevertheless, today, half a century ago, they met their maker and were the only ones executed out of half a dozen in the "spy" ring.

There wasn't a lot of grinding of teeth over the execution although public opinion was divided.  What is clear now, in hindsight, is that law enforcement played a few dirty tricks to get the conviction and a lot of stuff made it into trial that would now be laughed out of court. Rigorous debate ensued of course but it was debate without the facts.  It was as if Faux Noise was the truth-o-meter and guardian of knowledge. Egad.

Enter Edward Snowden. He wasn't or isn't a classic spy as we know the term. He is, however, a self-styled truth teller out to right what is in his mind, a great wrong.  Those around the Rosenberg issues noted something of the same thing...why should the US have the atomic bomb and Russia not as it tipped the balance of power etc..

Edward Snowden
Snowden was a teenager when the Patriot Act set all this surveillance in motion. I doubt he read it.

It also appears that he had a Google email account and as such, he should have known that Google operates far in excess of the Patriot Act. Every email is filtered. Every search is logged and recorded. The data is mined and links back directly to the account holder. EVERY as in every.

Snowden is no hero nor is he a Rosenberg. His lofty idealism is a sham made of stupidity and a lazy mind.  His head won't be set on fire like Ethel's, nor will he likely spend a day in prison. 

It is good we are having this discussion - this Patriot Act stuff - and finally and rightly so. Just don't give this Snowden boob any credit for it.

I won't even venture into the realm of Wiki-Leaks.