I am a huge fan of the Olympics. I love the different events and the competition among nations and athletes. A big part of my love of the Games was because I thought of them as so much cleaner than US professional sports. Your February 10 issue on Sochi pretty much shattered that illusion—especially Andrew Jennings’s article on the IOC and Samantha Retrosi’s “The Cruelty of the Olympics.” I still watch, but… a bit of the magic is gone. I’ll not complain, though. It was a great eye-opening issue, and I’m better off if I have fewer illusions.
somewhere in cyberspace
It’s true. The magic of the Olympics is gone. It’s like Disneyland now; we’ve all seen the man behind the curtain. It’s all constructed. We have been robbed of the mystique and awe and watery-eyed welling-up of emotion it once produced in us. I’m saddened by that, but worse is that our athletes—our kids—are saddened.
Thanks for Samantha Retrosi’s article. It really resonates with me. I was in Nagano in 1998 [in the giant slalom—ed.]. I’ll never forget being told by an Olympic PR specialist that crying’s not a bad idea if you win a medal. I realized I was an actor on a stage. People look hurt when I say the Olympics are a glorified TV show designed to command top advertising dollars, and that the athletes are the “puppet extras”—like I’m a big old wet blanket.
Snowden: Necessity Defense
Chase Madar, in “Amnesty for Snowden!” [Feb. 10], causes me to wonder whether Edward Snowden could raise the “necessity defense,” should he return and be tried on federal charges in open court.
The elements of the necessity defense vary among the several federal circuits, and it has never been definitively ruled on by the Supreme Court. It turns on some variant of the same four basic elements: (1) Did the defendant choose the lesser of two evils; (2) did he act to prevent an imminent harm; (3) did he reasonably believe the action would avert the harm; and (4) did he have no legal alternative to violating the law?
A case for Snowden can be made on each of these elements. First, Snowden reasonably believed that the NSA’s dragnet violation of our Fourth Amendment right to be secure in our persons, papers, houses and effects far outweighs any security advantage the NSA might expect to gain by its dragnet approach to warrantless search and seizure of our personal data and communications.