This week in Washington, Senator Marco Rubio accused a fellow American of treason. Edward Snowden drew the Republican's ire by informing hundreds of millions of innocent people that the NSA is spying on them.
"We must respond to the valid concerns of Americans, who are alarmed by reports regarding their civil liberties," Rubio said in a speech at AEI. "But we must also distinguish these reasonable concerns from conspiracy theories sparked by Edward Snowden. This man is a traitor who has sought assistance and refuge from some of the world's most notorious violators of liberty and human rights."
Anyone familiar with the Snowden story will understand why Rubio's comments are misleading. Americans are concerned about their civil liberties because of the accurate information the former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor leaked. He isn't responsible for any conspiracy theories, except in the sense that a conspiracy is "an agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act," and he exposed NSA and GCHQ cooperation on such acts. Finally, Snowden didn't exactly choose Vladimir Putin's Russia. His plan was to pass through en route to a different country, but while he was there, the Obama Administration yanked his passport. As a result of that brilliant strategy, they stranded a man with lots of secrets in Russia rather than, say, Ecuador.