This quote was actually made on July 4th by American film director and producer, Oliver Stone while at a film festival in the Czech Republic. Never one to shy away from controversial political topics and comments, Stone went a little overboard on the 237th anniversary of our Nation’s independence from tyrannical colonial rule. This is the quote to a press conference of largely European journalists, a continent still smarting from the fact that this country has surpassed the whole of that continent in so many areas:
“It is a disgrace that Obama is more concerned with hunting down Snowden than reforming these George Bush-style eavesdropping techniques. To me, Snowden is a hero, because he revealed secrets that we all should know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the Fourth Amendment…He should be welcomed and offered asylum but he has no place to hide because every country is intimidated by the United States. This should not be. This is what is wrong with the world today and it is very important that the world recognizes and gives asylum to Snowden. Everyone in the world is impacted by the United States’ ‘Big Brother’ attitude towards the world…We need countries to say no to the United States…the United States is the dominant power in the universe, with its eavesdropping abilities, cyber abilities. And the world is in danger with out tyranny.”
Let us dissect this tirade by an American film maker who, most of us can agree, has really not made anything of consequence since perhaps “Platoon” in 1986. Of course, being a Hollywood liberal, notice the subtle deflection away from Obama towards the George Bush “eavesdropping techniques.” Yes, the PATRIOT Act was passed and further authorized under Bush originally, but Obama has done little to address the alleged civil rights concerns since. If anything, he has doubled-down on eavesdropping operations. However, I do sort of agree with some of the opening of the comment since Obama is wasting time with a 29-year-old former NSA underling.
As for Snowden releasing secrets we all should know, actually anyone would be a fool not to realize this was happening. Revealing what is intuitively known by most Americans is hardly anything worthy of this comment, let alone Obama administration action. And as for the Fourth Amendment, that is part of the US Constitution, not some international law or declaration of rights. Europeans should care less about our Fourth Amendment.
Regarding the Fourth Amendment, incidentally, it is my understanding that FISA warrants were sought and received by the government. While civil libertarians may disagree with this method, then change the law. But one can almost guarantee that more terrorist plots have been discovered and thwarted than there have been cases of actual civil rights violations under the PATRIOT Act and FISA court authority.
For a liberal Democrat like Stone to ignore the fact that national security concerns sometimes have implications on civil rights is commonplace. He also ignores the fact that Democratic leaders have been the worst violators of constitutional rights. After all, the Democratic Party forerunners- the Federalists- passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. It was Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, who systematically set out to dismantle constitutional rights in the build up to World War I and during the war. And it was Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, who interned Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Now, regarding those “tyranny” statements, that just isn’t right on the day our country celebrates its independence from tyranny. But, I guess that was by design to get his mug on television and in the newspapers (as an aside, Stone looks like something out of a Stephen King novel…just saying). He especially makes this comment in Europe and in a country that experienced true tyranny. It was the United States that helped liberate Europe from the tyranny and genocide of Nazi rule under Adolph Hitler. Who else was going to do it? The French who basically invited 3 million Germans to dinner? Before America’s entry into World War II in Europe, Germany achieved great military success. While they may have made some strategic mistakes like invading Russia, it was the United States that tipped the scales in favor of the Allies. Also, unlike the Russians, the US had no territorial or tyrannical designs on Europe or any part of Europe. If Stone is going to talk “tyranny,” the he should do a film on the Russian suppression through the use of tanks in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Or how about Stalin’s tyranny and reign of terror in the Soviet Union? Or how the Soviet Union and its proxies systematically fought democracy movements throughout the world after World War II until the fall of the Berlin Wall? Or any other number of examples of true tyranny which the United States sometimes fought alone or in tandem with others?
The fact is that Stone, like most liberals, just cannot help themselves when it comes to these comments. Sticking just with him, his Showtime documentary, “The Untold History of the United States,” is actually a rather decent series that I had the good fortune to watch. It is chock full of little historical trivia tidbits that can be used in a middle school history class. But, towards the end, it becomes apparent that there is a political agenda at work here and that agenda is to denigrate the history of this country and to position the United States as “just another country.” While it may be true that our history is checkered with some warts along the way, they nowhere approximate the carbuncles and festering blisters exemplified by Stalin’s Soviet Union, Castro’s Cuba, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Hussein’s Iraq, or Chavez’ Venezuela and a host of other countries.
Thankfully, not too many people really listen to Oliver Stone (or see his movies). He is like the Chris Matthews of Hollywood- we know he’s there, he occasionally makes some over-the-top comment, but he is an inconsequential player when all is said and done. Like Chris Matthews and others, he simply confirms the stupidity of the liberal mindset and for that, all conservatives should be thankful.