Editor’s note: This letter is in response to a letter from UNM instructor Joachim Oberst published in the Daily Lobo’s July 1-7 issue. Oberst’s column asserted that former NSA analyst Edward Snowden should be commended for exposing NSA surveillance practices on U.S. citizens.

Additionally, the Daily Lobo would like to clarify that it is funded by advertisements and student fees and cannot be described as “state funded.”

Mr. Oberst,

The enemy is indeed within, and it comes in many forms. Perhaps the most subversive of all is faculty-produced propaganda impressed on formative minds through state-funded media. 

Edward Snowden wasn’t and isn’t wealthy. It is an intentional misrepresentation to say he gave up a life of luxury and assumed a future of financial hardship in order that he might save us all from evil government. He will likely be wealthy soon, though; that bonanza will come at the cost of national security and very possibly the lives of Americans who are defending your right to espouse whatever rubbish you please.

The federal government is 1936 Nazi Germany. Edward Snowden is Martin Luther King. Congress is the Politburo. The American media is Pravda. Bradley Manning is Malcolm X. Many Americans disagree with you on all of these statements, but at least some display a disturbing lack of knowledge. You either do not know the subjects you conjured or are intentionally misrepresenting them.

Further, you have disrespected the names of King and Malcolm X by comparing their great deeds to save fellow countrymen to shameless punks who sold out their countrymen for notoriety and money.

Guarding the safety of Americans often requires the performance of tasks for which you may not be suited, but the vast majority of us feel are warranted. If Snowden was so concerned about eavesdropping on private citizens, there were dozens of ways he could have brought the situation to light without handing national intelligence over to those who aggressively seek to harm us.

Snowden has been crying for attention his whole life. Sitting in his dungeon, indistinguishable from thousands of other bureaucratic clones, he likely saw at his fingers the opportunity to command the world’s stage and was willing to throw the lives of unknown numbers of Americans under the bus in that selfish endeavor.

That is an educated opinion. An instructor at a state-funded university should be able to state his or her opinion as well, but using the school paper to espouse divisive, minority opinions supported by untruths, misrepresentation and coercion has no place in taxpayer-funded schools.

Ken Cogan
Daily Lobo reader