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Read Barton Gellman’s December 23 article on Edward Snowden, based on fourteen hours of face-to-face interviews:

Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished

Catch this paragraph, which concludes Fox News’ report on the same interview:

Asked about the Snowden interview, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told the Associated Press: “Mr. Snowden faces felony charges here in the United States and should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be afforded due process and all the protections of our criminal justice system.”

Ask Abraham Bolden about “all the protections of our criminal justice system.” Bolden just tried to do his job, reporting to this chain of command in the Secret Service evidence of a plot against President Kennedy’s life in Chicago, just a couple of months before November 22. Our criminal, justice system railroaded him into jail on false charges. There his jailers forced him to take powerful drugs, exactly the kind of treatment dissidents and other threats to the state received in the Soviet Union. But for help from his wife, and the timely death of the prison’s warden, Abraham Bolden might be in prison yet, if he had lived.

Edward Snowden can look at the treatment of Bradley Manning as a more recent illustration of how our government treats people it perceives as a threat. Extended solitary confinement is just the beginning. Read about the treatment Manning received during his pre-trial incarceration, and be horrified.

So when a White House spokesperson says you ought to come back to the United States of America, to face charges of espionage, who thinks the individual will receive a fair trial? Who believes the person’s treatment would be different from Abraham Bolden’s or Bradley Manning’s? The feds have demonstrated their intent. They have demonstrated their willingness to deny due process, and to mistreat prisoners in their custody.

Let me ask you, then, why a White House spokesperson would make a statement about due process and protections for American political prisoners. These people are not comedians. They are not trying to make us laugh. That leaves only a few other possibilities:

    • It’s a stock phrase they use to tell reporters it’s time to move on to another subject.
    • They think their listeners are morons, with no more power of observation than a stone.
    • They believe what they say about protections and due process, because they’re told to believe it.
    • They believe what they say about protections and due process, because they have no more power of observation than a stone.
    • Whether they believe what they say or not, they speak falsely about protections for whistleblowers to persuade people the protections exist.

Each one of these possibilities does not leave one too hopeful. Each one of these possibilities makes you grateful we have courageous people like Abraham Bolden, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden to serve our country.