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America’s imperial decline: Must Dick Cheney always be president?

Edward Snowden has been on the lam for nearly three weeks now. The 30-year-old computer whiz has gone from Hawaii to Hong Kong to Moscow since revealing official eavesdropping and hacking practices that Americans, along with everyone else, have an urgent right to know about. The denouement may come any time now. I wish Snowden luck in finding a new, humane home.

In the meantime, let us not miss something else that has come harshly to light in the course of Snowden’s flight from U.S. authorities. Without even meaning to, America’s latest whistle-blower has made an important point about the nation’s place in the 21st century world. And no, it is not a good place.

Have you noted the extent to which Washington has failed to influence the governments that have harbored the National Security Agency’s former contractor? Have you heard or read the hostile outbursts greeting news that the NSA has been bugging computer networks and telephone circuits all over Asia and Europe? Most recently, have you detected the Obama administration’s disgraceful arm-twisting as it tries to dissuade potential providers of asylum?

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