The man behind the NSA scandal is on the run…literally. Edward Snowden has been jumping from location to location and country to country in an attempt to escape the United States government. The man that is an enigma, a hero to some and a villain to others, is running around the world hiding from what could be a problematic fate in the US. His goal is to find asylum and protection as a refugee in a country that will embrace him for his sabotage (or whistleblowing whatever your personal belief).

The problem is not so much the uproar over Snowden’s movement. It is the blatant hypocrisy for which the man stands. The young man who supposedly is a beacon of freedom and revelations on the activities of the NSA is now hiding behind countries that stand for nothing of the sort. From China to Russia, the young expatriate is heading to locations that are known for shutting down media, having closed discussions, and directing scripted discussions among their own citizenry. The irony of his movements is assuredly not lost on him.

The awareness that Snowden brought to a problem is not the issue at hand directly. There is a sound basis for criticizing the reach of the government in this case. While the political parties fight out whether or not he is a hero or villain, with Republican Speaker John Boehner falling solidly on the side of harsh criticism, the real issue is how these other countries are protecting him. With Russia and China both seeming to protect the young man, there is a direct message being sent to the leaders in Washington and, specifically, the Obama Administration: Your opinion doesn’t matter. This may come as a shock to the global President who tries hard to treat well the enemies of this country or stand in line with causes that are detrimental to the United States, but the fact remains that he is not the end all be all when it comes to other leaders. He is simply the leader of the United States, a country that they hate and that they see no real value in at their core. Maybe this will wake our Commander in Chief up to understanding that no matter how hard he tries to appease those who dislike us he will not change their hearts or minds and is only making us weaker in the process. Chances are, however, his ego will remain unchallenged by this blatant disrespect and he will continue the world apology tour he started before his presidency ever began.

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