Letter to the Editor: U.S. should be held accountable

By Jake Rush’s definition (“Snowden’s actions show disloyalty to government” published June 17, 2013), the very existence of the United States of America is bad because men and women of the late 1700s were disloyal to their legitimate British government. Indeed, Mr. Rush’s entire article promotes uncompromising and unwavering trust (loyalty) despite millennia of experience proving that all governments will eventually act to subvert the people they were created to protect unless held strictly accountable to the people.
Our Declaration of Independence says, “that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive [of the rights of the People], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” Mr. Rush may disagree, but many of us believe the violation of the 4th Amendment to our Constitution by our own government makes our government destructive to the very rights we claimed from King George III. Loyalty (like respect) is earned, not demanded.
There should be no such thing as a blind and absolute loyalty to any government. That Orwellian belief created the despotism of ancient Rome and Nazi Germany and is what creates the very corruption of liberty we are facing today — the idea that we should never question our government nor hold it accountable to the people it serves.
Mr. Snowden was right to expose the violation of citizen rights by our own government because our government is accountable to us as much as we to the government.
But that last clause cannot be ignored and in this one thing Mr. Rush and I agree: Mr. Snowden violated his employment contract and an oath of secrecy. I cannot demand the government honorably subject itself to the People’s judgement if I do not equally demand the people honorably subject themselves to the government. Lady Justice holds both a sword and a balance. Mr. Snowden must have the courage of his own convictions and honorably face the court of law that will inevitably hold him accountable for his own transgression.

JB Howick
Ogden, Utah