He may have done more damage to this country than any other person in recent history. He may have exposed national security secrets that could put Americans at risk. U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden may have helped the terrorists, and we'll never know by how much!
But for those naive Americans who have a hard time identifying our enemies, Snowden has served a good purpose. He is taking a roll call of our enemies, and the response he is getting is "presente."
After betraying his country by leaking documents about U.S. surveillance programs, Snowden's pleas for asylum have been mostly answered by anti-American despots all over Latin America.
This is the result of several U.S. administrations — Democrat and Republican — neglecting Latin America and ignoring the growth of a socialist axis of evil that has been gaining strength and propping up new anti-American firebrands all over the Western Hemisphere.
As our armed forces go around the world trying to put out fires, Americans often forget about our enemies in our own backyard. Yet Snowden is giving us a wake-up call and a wonderful opportunity to distinguish between our amigos and our enemigos.
Amazingly, while several countries have rejected Snowden's pleas for asylum, while even Russia and China have told him to move on, the leftist Latin American despots are putting up welcome signs for the former National Security Agency contractor now facing charges of espionage in the United States.
Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, still trying to become as obnoxious as his predecessor Hugo Chavez, said Venezuela "decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden," so he can live without "persecution from the empire," referring to the United States.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he would be willing to make the same offer "if circumstances allow it." He said that Nicaragua has "the sovereign right to help a person who felt remorse after finding out how the United States was using technology to spy on the whole world, and especially its European allies," Ortega said, with his typically cynical attitude, as if he actually cared for America's relationship with its European allies.
Bolivian President Evo Morales said he was offering Snowden asylum as a "fair protest" against the United States, because his plane was denied permission to fly over several European countries, and he had to make an unscheduled stop in Austria when he was on his way home from Russia last week — and because he believes the U.S. orchestrated the whole thing.
Of course, knowing Morales' hatred of the United States, our European allies had every right to suspect that Morales could be smuggling Snowden out of the Moscow airport where the NSA leaker has been stranded for more than two weeks.
But that incident has served to rally the other members of the leftist axis of evil to come out in defense of their fellow comrades. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, who is already giving refuge to wanted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London and the first to consider giving asylum to Snowden, still maintains that an asylum determination would be made if Snowden reaches Ecuadoran territory. And although Correa seems to have toned down his rhetoric after Vice President Joe Biden called him and explained the possible consequences for harboring a fugitive, he still doesn't miss an opportunity to attack the United States. Correa said that if any country had denied airspace to an American or European president, it "probably would've been grounds for war."
Cheap hyperbole is their specialty!
"We're here to tell President Evo Morales that he can count on us," Maduro said in Bolivia Thursday, standing next to Morales and Correa. "Whoever picks a fight with Bolivia picks a fight with Venezuela."
Even Cuban dictator Raul Castro had the gall to get into the act. "We back the sovereign right of Venezuela and all the states in the region to grant asylum to those persecuted for their ideals or fights for democratic rights," Castro said in a speech Sunday.
Of course, coming from the dictator of a country where people have been "persecuted for their ideals or fights for democratic rights" for 54 years, Castro's repulsive hypocrisy is only comparable to Snowden's.
After all, there is something terribly disgusting about an American who betrays his country — because he allegedly needs to disclose how the United States is infringing on citizens' rights — and then seeks asylum in countries where those rights are non-existent.
People flee from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua when the government curtails their freedom, and yet that's where Snowden is seeking refuge! He claims that he wouldn't receive "a fair trial and proper treatment prior to that trial" if he came back to the United States, but he seeks asylum in countries where government-influenced courts and human rights violations are common.
Imagine Snowden trying to leak government documents in Spanish — and the kangaroo courts and Latin American dungeons where he would be punished!
"I'm not surprised by the countries that are offering him asylum; they like sticking it to the United States," Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned that there could be serious trade and policy consequences for countries that give Snowden refuge.
"It's very clear that any of these countries that accept Snowden and offer him political asylum is taking a step against the United States," Menendez said.
Nevertheless, the Latin American leftist despots seem to be competing with each other to see who gets Snowden.
Let's face it: These are people who have made entire political careers just by blaming the United States for all their countries' problems. Their need to continue defying us has now aligned them with Snowden, an American traitor who would surely be used as a public relations tool — another prop to turn Latin Americans against the United States.
To find out more about Miguel Perez and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.