During my youth, I grew up as a "Service Brat." My dad served 27 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. I respected God, the Stars and Stripes, America and our presidents without question. I loved my mom's apple pie!
However, credible researches discovered that President Franklin D. Roosevelt "let" Pearl Harbor occur to draw public support to jump the United States into World War II.
Our kids fought the Korean War because somebody in Harry S. Truman's circle decided we needed to stop communism over 10,000 miles from our shores. The best bet on who started the Korean War: a banker, a corporation head or anyone hoping to make enormous gains off mass deaths.
By the time Vietnam conscripted and killed a lot of my friends, as well as my own time in the U.S. Army, I learned about lies, corruption, bankers and the real reason for Vietnam. I learned that presidents lie. They think nothing of sacrificing young men in ridiculous wars such as Lyndon Baines Johnson's onslaught of Southeast Asia. He killed over 2.3 million Vietnamese and 58,319 of our young men. He ruined millions of lives, families and the environment with Agent Orange.
Years later, George W. Bush "created" the Iraq War on his lies and deceptions of "Weapons of Mass Destruction." He destroyed an entire functioning civilization, brought endless death and misery to God knows how many people. We're still fighting and dying in Afghanistan over a year since bin Laden died at the hands of Navy Seals.
Highly decorated U.S. General Smedley Butler, upon retiring, wrote a book that every American should read: War is a Racket. The only people who benefit from war: bankers, munitions manufacturers, clothing and food producers and corporations. They make a lot of money off death of our citizen soldiers.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about the "Military Industrial Complex" that engineers wars, global tensions and anything to shove our kids into uniform and battles. Congress and presidents shoved our noses into everybody else's business for decades.
We didn't listen to Butler. We "supported" all those wars via massive "advertising" that a "threat" awaited us. Those wars made a lot of CEOs filthy rich.
In 1971, defense expert Daniel Ellsberg presented the Pentagon Papers exposing the incredible corruption and widening of the Vietnam War by Nixon and Johnson before him—all based on lies.
Last week, NBC's Brian Williams interviewed "whistleblower" intelligence officer Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency's incredible spying on American citizens. I watched the entire interview: Snowden showed himself to be incredibly honest, forthright, concerned, all-American, he honors the U.S. Constitution and he is a man of principles. He chronicled his work in the government that opened him to the corruption at the highest offices in our government.
Secretary of State Kerry called Snowden a "Traitor, coward and should come home to face the music."
Daniel Ellsberg responded, "Kerry's remarks are despicable!"
I agree. We need 10,000 Edward Snowden's. In America today, we face incredible corruption in our Congress and Mr. Obama himself. The list grows: Fast and Furious, won't enforce our immigration laws, phony Social Security number, Benghazi killings, suing states from enforcing their own laws, continue to fund 10 year wars when they know they are futile, and on and on. The corruption in Congress runs wide, deep and sickening from 20 and 30 year career Senators and Congressmen swimming in lies, cheating and playing the American people. Insider military trading on the stock market, paid off by corporations to NOT enforce our immigration laws and another 100 crimes against the American people.
"So many things we are told are untrue," said Snowden. "The Iraq War was launched on false premises. We were led by false statements to go into Iraq."
I can stand with Snowden because I know we marched into Vietnam on the same false statements such as the "Gulf of Tonkin Incident."
When he tried to notify superiors, they said, "You should stop asking questions."
I faced the same thing when I served as an officer in the U.S. Army. I learned to never question orders. If I did, command officers ridiculed me. I learned quickly to follow the military protocol.
Snowden said, "I watched the government's dishonesty. What was going on needed to be told to the public. I did nothing to harm the citizens or soldiers of America."
Williams asked, "Why won't you come home and face the music?"
"The Espionage Act states that you cannot have a defense," said Snowden. "The music is not an open court or fair trial."
"Are you blameless," asked Williams.
"The most important idea is that what is right may not be legal," said Snowden.
I can attest to that fact. Once the man or "group" who gained George Bush's ear turned the crank to initiate the Iraq War, no sane, rational or reasoning man could stop it.
"We are seeing an erosion and obstruction of our rights as citizens under the NSA," said Snowden. "I felt that I was/am serving my country and protecting my fellow citizens. Even one of the U.S. Senators said that bulk surveillance is unacceptable. We see senior officials taking powers they don't warrant. In the end, I did the right thing."
I applaud Snowden. If more Snowden's stood up in the face of withering criticism or "following the power elites" that create wars or spy on our own citizens or recklessly endanger our country—none of our kids would have died in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Desert Storm or Afghanistan.
Look to career U.S. Senators like Feinstein, Boxer, Reid, Udall, Bennet, McCain, Kyle, Schumer, Levin, Kerry, Durbin, Kennedy, Hatch, Graham and dozens of other senators for their complicity in driving this country into needless wars, not defending our borders, slamming us into $18 trillion debt and putting all of us at risk. For example: the current S744, passed by the Senate last year, guarantees our country spirals into the demographic, cultural and linguistic toilet. Yet, the damned fools passed it. I recall Mark Twain's sage words, "Suppose you are an idiot and suppose you are a member of Congress…ah but I repeat myself."
We should welcome Edward Snowden home as a national hero, and, at the same time shouting out to Secretary of State John Kerry, "You're despicable beyond measure."