John Ransom

Many people are stupid. And I mean a lot of people.

So John Kerry went on national TV to triple double dog dare Edward Snowden to come back from Russia.

“Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden a fugitive and challenged him to ‘man up and come back to the United States,’" reports ABCNews.

"If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States," Kerry said, "we'll have him on a flight today." Kerry said Snowden should "stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people."

Man up? For the death penalty? Or life in prison?

Raise your hand if you trust this government to administer justice fairly, and honestly?

I don't know that Snowden is a hero or a goat, but I do know that because of him we're having this conversation today. I do know that a federal judge has said that the data gathering portion at issue is likely unconstitutional.

This is a government that won't even come clean about spying at the IRS.

Snowden, as you might remember, managed to steal tons and tons of secrets from the top-secret spy agency. He's been popping up from exile in Russia, trading jabs with administration officials in a way that he wouldn't be able to from a prison cell. The administration says he was a “low-level” IT guy at the NSA, who just managed to steal all those secrets undetected.

Here's what people need to know about that: In the intelligence community when they share information with the general public, especially when something's been as FUBAR and embarrassing as the Snowden thing, it's because that's what they want the general public to know.

Will they lie? Yes. It's a way of life for them, just like on a cheating girlfriend.

Duh.

And here's the second thing that you need to know: Getting past the question of whether the 4th Amendment allows the massive data-gathering that's been going on since 9/11-- and I believe that it does not-- what the United States has always had a shortage of is human intelligence --that is, manpower on the ground

While technology, like signals intelligence, might provide intelligence agencies with leads, it's human intelligence that gets the bad guys.

Let's take the example of if what we know is to be believed- and that's probably specious- about the killing of Osama bin Laden.


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.