After seeing Erick Erickson rant on Twitter about the whistle blower Edward Snowden fleeing to “communist” Hong Kong and being idolized by “Ron Paul millennials” and “the left”, I felt the need to respond to such nonsense.
First of all, Hong Kong has a capitalist system. According to Heritage, it is the most free nation economically in the world.
After being called out for this on Twitter, Erickson then responded with the following Tweet:
Really fascinating to see the naivety of people who think Hong Kong is something other than part of Communist China. Econ freedom ≠ freedom
Actually, while it falls under Chinese rule, Hong Kong is governed autonomously, not by China. It’s legal system is based on English Common Law. Many civil rights and liberties are protected under their constitution, called Hong Kong Basic Law.
In regards to Ron Paul supporters/libertarians, I’ll let Jim DeMint and Ronald Reagan have their say. We need to embrace young people and people that support liberty, not cast them aside or deride them. Sure, there are some crazies. Most are just people with consistent positions on the role of a limited government.
Now, on to Toobin’s article that Erick cited on Twitter:
Toobin is very clear that he holds federal law in high esteem:
These were legally authorized programs; in the case of Verizon Business’s phone records, Snowden certainly knew this, because he leaked the very court order that approved the continuation of the project.
That is all true. My response is: So what?
Is law that violates the Constitution really law? Of course not. The 4th amendment is clear. Warrants can only be issued upon probable cause. There is no probable cause in data mining.
The NSA program is in violation of the law. It’s operators are in violation of the law.
Did Snowden break a law(s) as well? He did. The Constitution really has no protection for whistle blowers. That doesn’t make him wrong.
The Founding Fathers broke “the law”. Ghandi and MLK broke “the law”. Jesus broke “the law”.
Were they wrong? The answer to that is self explanatory.
If Snowden gets extradited back to the U.S. and put in court, I urge the jurors to engage in jury nullification, which is a legal remedy rooted in common law that can successfully render tyrannical laws powerless.
There are two sides in this debate. One side believes the people are sovereign and the government is limited. The other believes the government is sovereign and the people are limited. I am not ashamed of what side I am on.