Do you know the name, George Wood? George Wood was a cover name of a German double-agent who was actually named, Fritz Kolbe. He was a German citizen who worked for the government of Nazi Germany. Because of his position, he had access to thousands of documents detailing secret activities of what Nazi Germany was planning, and actually doing. Not only did he have access to technology such as the V-1 Buzz Bombs , and V-2 Rockets that were menacing the British Isles, but he also had data regarding projects such as the Messerschmidt (ME) 262 Jet Fighters. George Wood would provide vital information regarding the locations of highly placed German spies, intelligence facilities, and other assets, many of which were located in allied countries. He was able to give the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), high fidelity plans of future German military movements and German governmental activity. George Wood began providing information to the United States in 1943 and the information kept coming through to the end of the war. He did more damage to the German government than any other spy.
He provided 2000-3000 classified documents informing the world what the Germans were doing and planning. ‘And he did it the ‘old-fashioned way; with actual paper documents, microfiche, and mimeographs since there were no USB drives, email, or fax machines at that point in time. But why did he do it? …The Money? …NO! He never accepted money for his work.
By all accounts, he did it because he saw that the German government was becoming overly aggressive against the German citizen. He saw that anything the individual wanted to do required government approval. He realized that government was doing things that it was NOT supposed to be doing and that it needed to stop, or be stopped. His last straw was information regarding concentration camp deaths (and the eventual holocaust), as well as the elimination/murder of mentally retarded people.
Why Does George Wood / Fritz Kolbe Matter?
Edward Snowden! We are living in a time when the US government is doing something that is illegal and conflicts with the spirit and intent of the US Constitution (The Law Of The Land). Numerous highly placed government officials have been caught lying about the government’s actions, including the director of the National Security Agency itself. Although they say their activities are legal and that the “US National Government’s” activities are necessary to keep the homeland safe, it should be noted that similar arguments were made by the German government during the time of George Wood. Edward Snowden learned of extreme violations of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which makes it illegal for government to search the effects and papers of Americans (even if government labels it metadata) without a specific, probable cause that a crime HAS been committed, and only after a legal search warrant has been approved by a Judge.
Now whether you appreciate him or not, Edward Snowden is responsible for informing the American people what their government has been doing against them. Obviously, no government thinks they’re the bad guy; not even the Nazi’s thought they were evil. Governments ALWAYS believe they are just and doing what they must do in order to navigate the times in which they live; and no country wants its secrets shared with the world. Some Americans may not like the fact that Snowden left the country with the American government’s secrets as he did; but they must recognize that if they think he’s a “traitor”, they should consider others who have taken the same actions, as traitors as well. That would mean that if Edward Snowden is a traitor, so is Fritz Kolbe.
Some people (especially politicians) suggest that he should’ve tried to become a whistle-blower; but what they conveniently fail to recognize, is that the government decides who is a whistle-blower against the government. Snowden would’ve NEVER been allowed to be a whistle-blower and the most likely outcome, is that he would’ve been fired from his job, lost his security clearance, would’ve went to court with NO evidence and no media coverage. Americans would still have no understanding of how far-and-wide the government’s illegal spying activities on American citizens would be if he didn’t do what he did.