Is Snowden, the NSA leaker a hero or a traitor?
What is your opinion about this? He is currently in Russia and his passport was already suspended.
Just because he's in Russia doesn't mean he's giving them the Nuke codes (sarcasm insert). This isn't the Cold War anymore and there's obviously less tension, but still a lot of distrust between us and the Russians (Probably all the cliche' 80's movies with Americans VS USSR) Snowden knows a lot about the information we take from citizens but I have doubts if he was able to sneak out of the country with solid info/plans that could be sold to other countries. Snowden is still a "hero" (more of a voice that needed to be heard than a hero) to me. This invasion of privacy is ridiculous, this has probably been going on since 9/11 and I hope more details are revealed by our own government about the "benefits" this has given us versus our constitutional rights being stampeded on. If this has prevented terroist attacks, bombings, assassinations, or mass bombings than I'm all for it. But if this has done little to nothing in protecting us from deadly forces, there is no excuse for our tightening freedoms.
Personally, I'd say both. He's a hero in the context that Americans have a right to know if the gov't is exceeding their limitations. I personally am not opposed to the gov't using the FISA courts to target legit suspects and listen in on their calls or monitor communications. However, this is way beyond what the patriot act or any other legislation authorized. Just archiving/monitoring the communications of all Americans in a huge dragnet of info is unacceptable in my view. Ordinarily, I don't believe the NSA is particularly interested in my calls or emails. My guess is they are still not. But in light of the recent abuses of power by the IRS, as well as past agencies abusing their authority...it's understandable why Americans would be concerned about how this information could be used in the future.
However, the fact that he has fled to and attempted to flee to countries that are clearly not aligned with the US, nor would I characterize them as allies, is concerning. I am not particularly interested in seeing the Chinese or Russian gov't obtain anymore knowledge about our intelligence capabilities than they already have.
In my view, this is not as clear cut as I would like it to be. But ultimately, I'd say the NSA has gone to far. Even if they haven't actually used this information against innocent citizens. We have no idea how it might be used in the future.
I honestly don't believe Russia, China, or any other country would grant Snowden asylum unless he could provide them with some intelligence concerning how America spies on (their) country. Russia could care less about the Patriot Act and the government spying on it's own citizens. I think we should wait and see what information Snowden took with him before we declare him a "hero". It's one thing to tell us the government spies on it's own citizens (which was no surprise to me), and it's another thing to actually give another country NSA and CIA trade secrets.
FYI - Russia and China also spy on their own citizens as well.
He certainly is not a traitor for exposing the NSA for its snooping in the lives of private citizens, and then lying about it.
The news says he took that job with the express intent of finding something to rat on them about, but he denies that accusation. And if they were not doing anything underhanded they would not have reacted as vehemently as they did.
He did not expose any "secrets" that would jeopardize the country, and embarrassing the NSA is hardly an act of espionage, or treason.
They are clearly grasping at straws to make this man look worse than he has made them look. The NSA is acting like an overgrown bully that got caught at something they should not be doing in the first place.
The greatest threat of any agency collecting all data on anyone leaves that person open to scrutiny in a dangerous way. It is much like a prosecutor at any trial, they take bits and pieces of unrelated information and spin an imaginary scenario that convicts people without any real proof of wrongdoing or any intent of ever having that desire by the individual.
SNOWDEN IS A TRAITOR AND A HERO if you like your heros to be stupid idiots. All Snowden had to do was to put all the evidence he had in the hands of a safe third party he trusts, or even several third parties and then gone public with what he knew here in the USA through the proper channels - if anything happened to him or the government tried to cover anything up he would be exonerated by the third parties which would be his insurance not only for his safety but for the safety of classified information. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out (and there are multitudes of trustable organizations or venues right here in the US who would have worked with him) so for him to take off to find safe harbor with our enemies who undoubtedly have gained access to his classified information eradicates any notion that he was doing this for honorable or patriotic motives....unless he is just a paranoid schizophrenic idiot....my heeero, sigh.
by Reality Bytes 7 years ago
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