Do you know Edward Snowden? Are you a personal friend of his or family member? Are you sure beyond a reasonable doubt that his reason for going into an NSA office and downloading a ton of data and leaving the country were honorable?
Ever had dinner with Bradley Manning or Julian Assange? Do you know anything about any of these men's character or motivations beyond what they have told you it is? The answer is no. All you know (same as me) is what you are told. This idea that anyone who steals information from our government and blasts it all over the world is a hero is idiotic at best, extremely dangerous at worst. I think these thoughts should concern more people.
It seems in today's day and age we accept that any one's actions are honorable with no proof and when being wrong could be extremely detrimental. Everyone of these guys Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange come from the same world, the internet underground. The same place that brings you credit card theft, spam email and child porn trafficking. Not everyone who has the ability to access this information is someone we should trust with it.
To think about this we have to join the grown up world for a few minutes. In the grown up world the government isn't always the enemy. It's not us against them, they are us. Does our government need oversight? Yes and lots of it. Should we always be working to make government better and more efficient, absolutely. However, we also have to acknowledge it has an important role in our society and when people damage it across the world it damages us all. And yes, before you say it I realize we do that well on our own very often without outside help.
I believe there is always two sides to every story and very often in life things aren't quite what we think because we don't have all the facts yet. When you don't have facts you must reserve judgement or general claims until you do. So let's look at what we know.
1) The NSA spies on Americans. This one is a no-brainer and anyone who didn't know it before Snowden came along is fooling themselves. This isn't even something that happened with the internet there are many many programs that have been used throughout time for governments to spy on Americans. America has a long history of spying on it's people. Do I like it? No, but in an adult world I recognize it happens and though the model may change because of this the spying will go on.
2) Snowden got a job and 2 weeks to do the day basically of walking through the door he had a ton of files and was headed to a foreign country. He had his job for a total 4 weeks the first two he spent on the east coast training. The 2nd two he worked in a field office in Hawaii where he eventually took the data and hit the road. Now let's think about this for a second....if you are truly who Edward Snowden says he is someone who just ran across the information and was appalled and had to do something, don't you think it's gonna take you a little longer to decide what you are going to do and plan it out. I contend he took the job with the sole purpose of doing exactly what he did....getting in the door, taking the data he wanted and fleeing the country. Which leads you to question of why?
3) Every whistleblower/hero/traitor seems to have ties to one guy a foreigner named Julian Assange. Now if we look at the facts of the Bradley Manning case as opposed to the rhetoric there is very strong evidence that in fact Bradley Manning didn't just find stuff to release but instead had a list of what Julian Assanage and WikiLeaks were requesting people around the world to find. Assuming said evidence is true who is to say Snowden also wasn't working off a list of things a foreigner wanted on our country?
Now am I saying 100% I know that Snowden is a foreign spy or a traitor, not at all. What I am saying is until there are a set of real facts about his motivation we shouldn't be so quick to believe it's a great idea that anybody can and should release our government's secret information to whoever else in the world wants it. People die when that kind of stuff happens and it's not the leader of the NSA or administration officials it's people like soldiers and special operatives that serve our country. I think we need to have a higher standard on how much we are willing to let their lives be endangered just to make someone else a hero, who really just may be a traitor.