26 June 2013

My open letter to Edward Snowden

Dear Edward

I've always wanted to visit Moscow.... Moscow proper, that is - not just ghosting around the transit lounge at Sheremetyevo where I understand you're at as I write.  So as you enjoy your Smirnoff and lime and anxiously wait to discover whether it's gonna be Caracas, Havana or Quito you'll be jetting off to next (on First Class no doubt, lucky you), I hope you'll accord me a moment of your time to read this letter.  I'll try to keep it brief, I promise.

First and foremost, happy belated birthday.  It must've been hard not being able to celebrate your 30th with family and friends like everyone else.   But I suppose this was more out of choice than it was circumstance (smart as you are, no doubt you'd seen that coming).

Which brings me to the question I've been meaning to ask you: why did you do it?  Surely you don't expect very many to buy your statement that "all spying is wrong" or that you "do not want to live in a world where everything (you) do and say is recorded".

Personally, I think what you did was wrong.  Telling every fellow American that the NSA's been eavesdropping on them is one thing; but to disclose your own country's covert operations - without a shred of concern for what your fellow Americans make of it all - is quite another.  My God, what have you done, Edward?  Even I who hail from a small Southeast Asian country (never mind you who've worked within the NSA) realise - and accept - that the interception of communications is "necessary" today in this dangerous place we call our world.

Lest you forget, if it weren't for similar activities carried out by those fine men and women at Bletchley Park all those years back, God knows how long the war would've stretched on for.  And I'm not even gonna go into detail the numerous terrorism plots that have been foiled after such surveillance was intensified following 9/11.  So what's new?

It was always going to be inevitable that there would be those who'd support you and consider you a hero.  But before you get too happy, know that there are just as many who condemn your actions.  To them, you're a traitor, Edward.  Either way, I hope you realise by now that your fellow Americans are so used to the lack (or even loss) of privacy that your revelations aren't going to unnerve them... except of course those who (strangely) consider their country's secret services as threats to their liberty rather than defenders of it.  On this score, I might add that I find it quite remarkable really how organised public opinion has the uncanny ability to destabilise common sense and reasonable logic; so at least in this respect, looks like you got yourself a small victory there - albeit one which I believe would be short-lived.

So as you await your boarding call, my advice to you is repent and hand yourself in.  Don't live the rest of your life as a fugitive or, worse still, having to look over your shoulder every 3½ minutes.  Don't allow yourself to be labelled a traitor forever.  Or a coward.  A true man always stands up to his own actions.  You have a choice, Edward.  God gifted you with a brilliant mind; use it... and do the right thing.  You're much too young to afford to do otherwise.  Good luck.


  1. Good luck Edward. ... I'm also wondering. ..what d heck u r thinking. ...

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.