Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Just a small personal observation

You've probably seen the news about the people who stole the FBI files showing J. Edgar Hoover's FBI smashing the constitution like a crystal goblet have finally come forward. This happened in 1971, at the Media, Pennsylvania FBI office. I arrived as a freshman at Swarthmore college in 1972. Media is just down the street, and as it happened I wound up living in Media.

Swarthmore had been a major hub of student activism and some people who became prominent in Students for a Democratic Society went there. We had more than our fair share of radical professors as well. Everybody assumed that the perps were associated with Swarthmore but it turns out the ringleader was a physics professor at Haverford College, our archrival in men's sports. (Haverford was male only at the time, with women attending Bryn Mawr college next door.) So my alma mater has lost that special distinction I thought it had.

Anyway, what those folks did was heroic and 100% praiseworthy. They evaded capture but they were prepared for it -- they even made arrangements for people to raise their children if need be. They exposed the FBI actively trying to disrupt and destroy anti-war and civil rights organizations, including an attempt to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. into committing suicide. But Hoover's name is still on the FBI building. How about that?

Edward Snowden is just as much a hero. He deserves a presidential pardon or at least a plea bargain to 200 hours of community services talking to high school kids about the Fourth Amendment. But it won't happen.


robin andrea said...

I loved reading that article in the NY Times yesterday. They risked everything to uncover the nefarious activities of the day. I am so glad they (most of them anyway) came forward and revealed themselves. Such brave people.

Don Quixote said...

Bravo! He is indeed a hero.