My readers will remember my long history of selfless suggestions to the leaders of my country in which i’ve offered simple but brilliant solutions for our nation’s problems.
Well, it’s time for another. We’ve all been tracking our country’s most famous whistleblowers since back in 1971 when Daniel Ellsberg turned over to the New York Times the Pentagon Papers, revealing that our government had been telling us a highly inaccurate version of the Vietnam war.
I refer, of course, to Bradley Manning, who last year gave to Wikileaks a trove of classified files uncovering embarrassing details about our war in Iraq and was tried on a long list of charges with potential sentences totaling 135 years; and Edward Snowden, who gave to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald files revealing that the NSA has been recording and saving all our telephone calls, emails, and Internet activity.
Ellsberg was of course prosecuted by our government, but the prosecution case fell apart when it was determined that the FBI had gathered information on him through an illegal wiretap. Ahh, we laugh at the innocence of the seventies, since we’ve rewritten those silly old laws so that now, nothing the government does is illegal. But that was then, and Ellsberg escaped punishment.
Manning has just been convicted of most of his charges and today was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Snowden slipped off to Hong Kong before he started blabbing and then slithered away to Russia, where he has been granted asylum. And since we can’t get our hands on him, and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist to whom he blabbed, is safe in Brazil, our government was reduced to harrassing Greenwald’s boyfriend on an international stopover in London on his way to Brazil. Oh please. We don’t need the boyfriend, or the journalist, we need Snowden.
So i modestly propose that Obama should make Putin an offer: we’ll trade them Manning for Snowden. Thus, we get our hands on Snowden and Manning, being gay, will quickly get thrown in jail or killed in Russia. A win-win. Especially since we’d then have the chance to get a little rough with Snowden during a few years of debriefing to make sure he’s not holding anything back. Win-win-win.
And no, just knowing that i’m helping my beloved country is sufficient reward although i wouldn’t mind a modest pension to supplement my social security.
Meanwhile: Time Marches on, on Market Street