Snowden

Since the Dawgs were playing late, we took the opportunity to see an afternoon showing of the movie Snowden. I was impressed.

While I am not a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he did a credible job. Oliver Stone directed, and showed great restraint in presenting the story. I normally think of J.F.K. when I think of Stone. While the story needs to be told in most of his movies, Stone lacks a certain amount of subtlety in story telling. I guess he thinks he’s preaching to the Trump minions.

Anyway, the movie was told in almost a documentary style, and was much the better for it. Clearly the country is divided on what they think about Snowden’s actions. By not going over-the-top, Stone told a more credible story.  He stuck to the facts, and didn’t drag red herrings back and forth across the screen to satisfy various conspiracy theories. As a result, you actually wanted to know more about Snowden when the movie was over.

With regard to the story, I fall on the side of a transparent government. I feel like the officials we elect, and the people they hire, are representing me throughout the world. When a drone blows up an innocent family, that’s on me. When we violate the privacy of every individual in the world by listening to every phone conversation , that’s on me. So when the government chooses to ignore our Constitution and sets up secret courts that are filled by secret judges to be able to skirt the Constitution, I’m happy that some brave individual is willing to stand up and draw attention to the problem.

Whistle blowers used to receive protection by the government to help people to come forward to report wrong doing. In Snowden’s case the government wants to try him under the Espionage Act of 1917. To my knowledge, Snowden didn’t reveal any specific secrets other than the secret that the government is violating the Constitution. Seems more like an internal thing, except for that whole spying on the phone conversations of our allies.

To summarize, I admire Snowden’s bravery and his sense of self. I hope Oliver Stone can give Snowden a really big check for his contribution to the movie. The winters are cold in Russia.

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