I never thought I would have a good word to say about Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, his own people's worst enemy. However, I have to admire the way he is standing up to the demands of the United States that he hand over whistle-blower Edward Snowden. For once, Putin is taking a principled position in the face of the world's most powerful country. In doing so, he is making us look like hypocrites, which we are.
We citizens value privacy and free speech. Who thought we were living in a police state? Now we know. Snowden released secret documents that proved the billions of tax dollars we have been pouring into our bloated national security complex have not been wasted. They have been financing a monstrous spying operation right here in the heart of the greatest democracy the world has ever known.
We citizens have not been paying for quality education or health care or state-of-the-art infrastructure. We have been paying to have our own spies snoop into our private lives and record our phone calls, emails, and text messages.
Only a hypocrite simultaneously praises and violates free speech and privacy. Snowden is the real patriot here.