I would like to state for the record that I am only going to be talking about the ACTIONS of Edward Snowden, not the information he found and whether or not I think that what the US government was doing is constitutional or not. That is a different issue that will at some point get its own post. But for now I am talking about the ACTIONS of Edward Snowden.
So let’s start with this, who is Edward Snowden is a former technical contractor and CIA employee. In 2013 Snowden disclosed to multiple media sources about a variety of top-secret NSA programs, including the interception of U.S. telephone metadata, Foreign Service Intelligence orders, and the PRISM surveillance program. Snowden in one way or another shared this information with multiple news sources with the majority of this information either being given to or published by The Guardian.
Is Snowden a hero? I think he is a narcissist. He finds what the NSA was doing to be morally wrong, but when it comes to national security there are proper ways to share this information with the right people to get things changed and known. Why didn’t he go to Congress? Why didn’t he go to his superiors? Why didn’t he go to somebody in the government? In January 2013 he went to documentary film maker Laura Poitras, most likely because of her work about another NSA whistle-blower William Binney. Once Snowden knew that the information he leaked was going to be published he left and went to Hon Kong. This brings be to my second point.
Is Edward Snowden a traitor? It depends on your definition of “traitor” but did he break the law, yes he did. Government workers cannot go to the media every time they disagree with something the government does. But I feel as though since we have lived in a Facebook and Twitter world where we believe that if we have information that it should be shared as quickly as possible that he didn’t want to go through the correct channels. He wanted people to believe, that he is some sort of savor of American liberties and a great whistle-blower.
Is he a whistle-blower? No. Whistle-blowers are people who see something wrong and by step chain of command in their company to reveal this wrong-doing and are protected from loosing their jobs or pay because of it. There is a law for whistle-blowing top-secret information as well, you just have specific people to blow the whistle to. And it’s not the Guardian. The truth is that Edward Snowden released top-secret information because he felt it was morally irrehensable and then fled as fast as he could to a country that is not known for freedom of the press, that may try to take the information that Snowden still has with him that hasn’t been released. I would like to reiterate that I do not agree with what the government has been doing. I disagree with how Snowden brought this information to light. He’s a narcissist who wanted attention and he got it. There were better ways for this information to get to the right people and for things to be changed, but he wanted to world to know his name, and now they do.