Snowden: An Analysis of the New Movie by Oliver Stone

Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, is the release date for Oliver Stone’s new movie “Snowden.”  By the time you read this, I will have trotted down to my local Cineplex, grabbed a large bag of popcorn and a large Diet Coke (the Diet Coke cancels out any of the fat and calories from the popcorn) and watched the movie.

Now, for full and fair disclosure, let me state from the onset that I’m not a big fan of Oliver Stone.  And it’s not because he is a liberal.  Honestly, it has more to do with the copious amount of misinformation presented in his movies.  Misinformation unknown to the public, which they now believe to be true.

For example, in the movie JFK, the Jim Garrison character asks one of his assistants, Bill Broussard, who believes his boss is over-the-shark with conspiracy theories about government involvement in the assassination if anyone else but the government had the power, and the ability to change Kennedy’s motorcade route.

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The question is just thrown out there, and Broussard becomes flustered, unable to give an answer.   It leaves the impression that the motorcade route was changed and the government, and only the government, could have changed the route. And now, millions of people believe the route was changed.

I hate to be the one who busts your bubble, but it is simply not true!  The motorcade route wasn’t changed. (Click Here).

And now Stone want us to believe that Edward Snowden is a hero.  And many, no doubt, after seeing this film will believe he deserves to come back to the United States and receive a hero’s welcome.

The New York Times notes that Snowden “…is presented as a disillusioned idealist, a serious young man whose experiences lead him to doubt accepted truths and question the wisdom of authority. He has something in common with Jim Garrison in “J.F.K.” and Ron Kovic in “Born on the Fourth of July,” and also with Chris Taylor and Bud Fox, the characters played by Charlie Sheen in “Platoon” and “Wall Street.” —

But now we get to the crux of the matter.  And I am speaking here of the true historical events.

Edward Snowden discovered what he believed was a violation of the Constitution taking place at the NSA.   The mining, recording and storing of emails and phones calls of United Sates citizens.

I would ask Mr. Snowden, why not take that information to a member of Congress or a Senator instead of handing it off to the media?  Rand Paul comes to mind as someone with a friendly ear.

Paul has even publicly stated that Snowden “…did inform us of something the government’s doing that was illegal.” —

And get this, I agree with Rand Paul!

But surely there were other routes Snowden could have taken.  But instead, he betrayed his oath and his promise to the NSA not to reveal state secrets.

As my momma always said, “two wrongs don’t make a right!”

“Asked if Snowden deserved to go to prison for breaking the law, [Senator Rand] Paul suggested that, if he became president, he would seek a compromise with the fugitive leaker. He noted that James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, had lied to Congress when asked if the NSA spied on Americans, and he suggested ‘some equivalency between a perjury charge [for Clapper], which is sort of like a five-year sentence, and [charges for] revealing secrets.’”ibid.

Paul went on to joke that Snowden and Clapper could share the same cell for their brief stay.

On a further note, if Snowden really believes he was right to hand this information over to journalists, then why not return to the United States and face the consequences?  I believe the politically incorrect term is man-up!

Surely Stone’s “Snowden” movie will be one-sided.   And if history is any indicator, it will contain a lot of incorrect information painting Edward Snowden as a pillar of a free society.  And millions of folks will walk around the rest of their lives believing it to be true!

Jerry Johnson

Jerry Johnson was the former Director of the Apologetics Group and President of Nicene Council. He was the senior writer/researcher for numerous documentaries including the best-selling Amazing Grace: The History & Theology of Calvinism. In the 1990s he served as Executive Director of the Christian Coalition of Hillsborough County Florida. He currently holds an M.A. in Christian Studies and a M. Phil. in Christian Apologetics. He lives with his wife of nearly 30 years and has four children and four grandchildren.

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