By ROBERT WILCOX, 17
HEALDSBURG HIGH SCHOOL

Espionage. Aiding the enemy. Destruction of national security.

Whistle-blowers are a danger to the great nation we reside in. They threaten to uproot, undermine, and raze all of the values and ideals we have worked so hard to establish in the United States of America.

ROBERT WILCOX

Our magnificent country is now under threat of complete obliteration by the evil endeavour that is whistle-blowing.

Recently, Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning), a once loyal soldier of the United States, released, with the help of WikiLeaks, classified documentation of our conflict in the Middle East.

Manning endangered the lives of herself and countless more in completing this heinous act of injustice, creating a situation where our enemy could potentially gain the upper hand, and wreak havoc on our troops. This attempt at breaching our national security cannot go unnoticed, and will not go without punishment. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her crimes, narrowly avoiding the 52-year sentence she deserved.

Another recent federal complication has been caused by the traitor named Edward Snowden. Snowden worked as a computer specialist for the CIA and the National Security Agency. Snowden was a loyal citizen until he decided to release a multitude of classified files from his employers. Federal prosecutors charged Snowden with espionage and theft of government property on June 14 but by then he was on foreign soil. Snowden hid out in Hong Kong for a week, evading United States authorities, after which he flew to Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow. He lived at the airport for a month as we advocated that Russia not help the villain. Russia, however, allowed Snowden to reside in Moscow, before he disappeared to an unknown location.

Criminals like Snowden need to be stopped, as they endanger the sanctity and security of our country. The lenient punishments for espionage and whistle-blowing provide traitors to our nation with an easy opportunity to endanger the lives of millions. The multitude of protection systems and monitoring agencies are clearly not enough.

Much controversy has been caused over the recent discovery of the NSA’s monitoring system. People complain that they have a right to their personal privacy.

What do they have to hide? If they are doing something wrong, then they should face the consequences; if not, then they should have absolutely no reason to fear being watched.

The United States government needs to crack down on the criminals who are endangering the great country we have worked so hard to create. Whistle-blowers are tantamount to traitors, and even can be as dangerous as terrorists.

They need to be stopped, else our country shall implode.

(Robert Wilcox is a senior at Healdsburg High School. Adapted from the Hound’s Bark student newspaper.)