Is Snowden both hero and traitor?

posted at 12:01 pm on June 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

First, let’s get the latest breaking news on Edward Snowden’s location.  After a long period of speculation after his disappearance from Hong Kong, Russian president Vladimir Putin has finally confirmed that he’s in the transit zone of the Moscow airport:

Gabriel Malor, David Freddoso, and I debated about Sergei Lavrov’s contention earlier today that Snowden hadn’t entered Russia and so they couldn’t extradite him.  This confirmed my analysis of that very careful parsing. Officially, one does not enter a country until presenting a passport and going through some sort of border control, which is why the areas in airports for transitional layovers are considered a kind of legal limbo for travelers.

That gets us into the question — again — of whether this generation’s real-life Carmen Sandiego is an American hero or traitor.  My colleague at The Week, Paul Brandus, says he could be both:

Here’s an irony that Snowden might be unaware of: For a man who howls about violation of civil liberties in America, he’d be dependent, in Ecuador, on a government that just passed a law that locals say will muzzle free speech. Among other things, notes the Miami Herald, it “makes the publication of private communications — WikiLeaks’ bread and butter — illegal.”

But is Snowden a hero or a traitor? He’s a hero for exposing deep government lies about its abuse of our civil liberties. This is, of course, a very serious matter needing further exploration. But Snowden is also a traitor. That’s an issue that has broad bipartisan consensus in Washington, where large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats want Snowden punished — if he is ever caught. The citizenry agrees: A USA Today/Pew survey says by a 54 percent to 38 percent margin, Americans want him prosecuted.

What would you call a man who deliberately passed information to a rival nation? According to the South China Morning Post, Snowden served up on a silver platter details about U.S. espionage efforts in China, including hacking of Chinese mobile phone companies and targeting elites at that country’s top Tsinghua University. He may be a hero in the eyes of civil libertarians, but he has also turned around and placed those very citizens in potential jeopardy by passing secrets to China, and, perhaps Russia. Snowden originally tried to portray himself as a lonely hero speaking truth to power. He now comes off as a smug, narcissistic Benedict Arnold.

Yesterday, a debate erupted as to whether Snowden’s motives mattered at all anyway.  I argue in my column today that they very much do, especially since we are having to rely on his credibility to determine whether the accusations against the NSA and GCHQ are true:

Unlike Felt or Plame and her husband Joe Wilson, Snowden had no significant power within government. Glenn Greenwald at theGuardian, who worked the closest with Snowden over the last few months, argues that Snowden is motivated by outrage over abuses of power; Snowden’s detractors argue that he either hates the U.S. or has a narcissistic desire for glory. Either way, Snowden had similar channels to choose as Felt did, which was to either contact law enforcement or members of Congress about those abuses, at least before exposing highly classified material to the public.

Why did he not avail himself of those channels? Here, too, actions arguably speak to motivation. Snowden fled to Hong Kong, then Russia, and apparently has started to bargain with Ecuador for asylum — and may need to travel through Cuba and Venezuela. None of these nations are known for a deep commitment to free speech and investigative media. Ecuador, in fact, has prosecuted journalists for reporting on the authoritarian government’s activities, and has imposed a panel to regulate media content — presumably in favor of President Rafael Correa.

It’s entirely possible that Snowden’s information accurately describes abuses of power, even if he’s not the free-speech hero or liberty martyr that his supporters claim. In part, we can now judge that because Snowden did what Felt refused to do for decades, which is reveal himself as the leaker. For the most part, though, we are left with only fragments of evidence to support Snowden’s public conclusions about the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ signals-intelligence group. Until we get a robust investigation into the activities of both by the respective legislatures that are supposed to oversee those activities, we can’t reach any real conclusions. That’s why motive matters in leaks, as well as context.

This debate will continue until we get a lot more answers about these programs, and we need to continue to demand those answers regardless of how we regard Snowden.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

He might be both, but he is the freedom-fighter of the world, the one who umasked obama.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I think there’s no much ink spilled on the guy.
But I’d say he’s either a narcissistic hero…or a narcissistic traitor.

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM

I think there’s TOO much ink spilled on the guy.
But I’d say he’s either a narcissistic hero…or a narcissistic traitor.

(fixed)

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Bark is stomping his little foot and demanding that Snowman be returned, and if Russia doesn’t comply well then….Bark…uh…will stomp his other foot.

Bishop on June 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

What Snowden did is basically an act of civil disobedience.
As such, he has to do his time, just like everybody else

J_Crater on June 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

China and Russia laugh at the USA because Snowden exposed the sanctimonious hypocritical USA, the one which obama diminished with transparency. They understand better than the majority of dummies in the US what obama has made of the land.

They are schadenfreudig because they can.

obama killed the last shred of moral authority and decency of the USA.

World, laugh and enjoy, but you cheered for him. The majority of the USA dummies did too. Now you got him!

It’s funny now but it is sad and very dangerous for world freedom. Sober up.

Snowden did freedom and liberty a big favor. If he dies because of it it will be the ultimate noble sacrifice. The only thing more ironic to this melodrama would have been for Snowden to leave HK in a private jet and be droned by obama.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

He is a traitor, no doubt about it, but a traitor to a country I no longer recognize, which makes me kind of neutral on him. He’s certainly a world class tool.

MNHawk on June 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Bark is stomping his little foot and demanding that Snowman be returned, and if Russia doesn’t comply well then….Bark…uh…will stomp his other foot.

Bishop on June 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Or issue a tersely worded letter or maybe hit that Reset Button again.

D-fusit on June 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. And I’m still not sure how to feel about this guy.

But it seems to me, that he is a hero to the notion of Liberty. And while I am very reticent to use the term “traitor” or “treason”, on a very basic level he did betray an agreement he had with the USG. I’m not sure how close that comes to “treason”, either philosophically or legally.

But if he is a hero to Liberty, and a traitor to the US, that leads me to ask a very ugly question: Where does that put the US in relation to Liberty.

And I don’t think I’ll like the answer…

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

We don’t have to rely on his reputation to determine if his claims at true. The reaction of our government is proof enough.

thphilli on June 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM

One thing is for certain and that is how Barky’s sycophant media are doing their best to use Snowden as a diversion from the IRS harassment and the Benghazi betrayals.

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Snowden is neither hero nor traitor, he is simply a whistle blower. If that puts him on the wrong side of the law, then that is what it is. And if it makes people lionize him, then that too is what it is. The only questions we should be asking right now are about our own overnment’s motivations in all of this, not Snowden’s.

abobo on June 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Is the NSA saying they can’t safeguard all this data they have on all American citizens..? Is that the problem?

d1carter on June 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM

What Snowden did is basically an act of civil disobedience.
As such, he has to do his time, just like everybody else…

J_Crater on June 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

…Who doesn’t work for the New York Times.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Bobby Vee asked that same question back in the 60′s. Devil or Angel?

In the meantime…the US has lost additional credibility over this. Accusing Hong Kong of shenanigans, when they were following their established laws. Making a fool of all of us, the Nation, by loudly and very publicly demanding Russia violate established laws and conventions…working hard to undermine a legitimate established government in the Middle East, again…and on and on.

And Snowden is the bad guy in all of this?

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Nice

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM

What would you call a man who deliberately passed information to a rival nation?

Bill Clinton?

The Rogue Tomato on June 25, 2013 at 12:14 PM

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Exactly right!!!

They didn’t charge him with “treason”.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:14 PM

He is a traitor, no doubt about it, but a traitor to a country I no longer recognize…
MNHawk on June 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Profound comment, has the haunting ring of truth to it.

abobo on June 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Bishop on June 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

You are a treasure!!!

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

He is both to Obama.

A traitor who revealed Obama’s extent of spying on Americans.

A hero who changed the subject, smack dab in the middle of the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the AP/Rosen scandal.

Thanks chump ……… Love ya, Mr. Tee Time

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Hmmm. While it was good that he released info on what the NSA was doing to ‘we the people’…I don’t believe that his reasons for releasing the info were noble.
I think he did it for the notoriety that it’s brought him.
Patriotism/love of country were not his major motivations.
Snowden is basically a loser who wanted his name on the map. He wanted his 15 minutes of fame.
He’s gotten it.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM

If Snowden was only leaking info in regards to foreign spying, then he is a traitor.

But Snowden is leaking the whole Government network, which includes domestic spying that is so huge, it includes every American’s email/phone/credit card/private property, which attacks the very Constitution the Government is suppose to protect & defend.

Snowden and the others leaking this, they have done the American Citizen a great service.

portlandon on June 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM

What Snowden did is basically an act of civil disobedience.
As such, he has to do his time, just like everybody else…

J_Crater on June 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

This isn’t King doing a night in Birmingham lockup.

I’ll grant you, I’d feel a lot better about him if he had stood his ground, let a jury try him, and put his fate in their hands. But we are talking decades in a prison system run by a government that tried arguing in favor of the possibility of killing Americans on American soil, sans any judicial oversight. And we are talking about a guy who likely has had access to documents outlining exactly how mighty the intelligence community in this nation is.

I’m not sure, in this case, I can blame the guy for running…

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

What would you call a man who deliberately passed information to a rival nation?

I don’t know.

What do you call a president who deliberately passed weapons to Al Qaeda?

What do you call a president who deliberately passed weapons to criminal organizations in Mexico?

The Rogue Tomato on June 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

First, let’s get the latest breaking news on Edward Snowden’s location. After a long period of speculation after his disappearance from Hong Kong, Russian president Vladimir Putin has finally confirmed that he’s in the transit zone of the Moscow airport:

Yet, I posted here as soon as the plane landed in Moscow that he is held in transit at the Moscow airport ‘so they wouldn’t have to claim that he’s in Russia’ – an incredibly clever move, same as “we didn’t get the right papers in HK” – like “the dog ate my homework :)

How did I know? RT reported it. In a weird way the rest of the world know the US news better than the US reporters know and, especially, choose to report/not report, from obama’s azz. Their brains are fried from eating all that Beluga.

The rest of the world reported and knew where Snowden was as soon as the plane landed.

Btw, the papers in the rest of the world, perusing their comments, are 98% with Snowden. No, they’re not all commies and sozis either. They just instinctively know what is going on.

obama is exposed nakid and they don’t like it but they enjoy it.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Punish the thought criminal!

wytshus on June 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Obama is spying on Americans, and he calls Snowden a spy?

1984 double speak.

Obama has all of your call logs and websites that you visited for the last 5 years.

Nobody in his administration needs a warrant to sift through it.

faraway on June 25, 2013 at 12:23 PM

This debate will continue until we get a lot more answers about these programs, and we need to continue to demand those answers regardless of how we regard Snowden.

Sen Leahy, yes that one, is already talking about modifying the law/s so that the NSA can not take so much info about the innocent US citizens and etc. If this happens progress for liberty will already ensue, due to Snowden, no matter what all he is, or isn’t.

A reputable former CIA agent spoke this morn. He said what the world knows – obama can pull no strings because he intentionally shredded them all.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

especially since we are having to rely on his credibility to determine whether the accusations against the NSA and GCHQ are true:

So…we aren’t sure yet whether PRISM exists, or does what he says?

Because I kinda thought that the government already confirmed that.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Considering the NSA and related orgs still don’t think they have done anything wrong I will consider him a semi-hero for now.

How he is making decisions, or lack of, concerns me. Any country he presents himself to may very likely consider him in violation for presenting an invalid passport (revoked by the US) and throw him in jail with a “Oh, and lets have those suspect laptops also …. “.

If he has the ‘delicate’ information he says he has then he needs to be very careful where he goes.

TerryW on June 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

It’s possible he is just a fallible human being.

Exposing flagrant violations of the Constitution by the US Government, in the face of his own loss of liberty and possibly his life, is heroic.

Providing China and Russia with detailed information about cyber operations against them is likely treasonous. But we don’t know the circumstances of those revelations. Did he provide that information freely? Was his intention to damage the United States? Was he “strongly persuaded” to reveal the information? Did he provide the information in exchange for his release from Hong Kong? Was he merely naive? Or was he just stupid to keep his unsanitized laptop?

In the spirit of supporting and defending the Constitution, he should have revealed only that information about government operations which violated the Constitution. Beyond that he is playing with treason.

ZenDraken on June 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Snowden may very well be a traitor.

But you know what? I’ve come to grips with the possibility that I may have the same label one day, if this country continues down the dark path it’s following.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Obama has all of your call logs and websites that you visited for the last 5 years.

Nobody in his administration needs a warrant to sift through it.

faraway on June 25, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Your taxes pay for your “civil servants” to spy on you, go figure.

“Civil servants” they are…neither…double oxymoron.

Snowden, in weird ways is trying to save freedom in the USA and the world. Only obtuse dummies can’t see.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I don’t care.
 
The topic should be Obama’s exponential increase in domestic spying.

rogerb on June 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

But you know what? I’ve come to grips with the possibility that I may have the same label one day, if this country continues down the dark path it’s following.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Indeed – would one wish to die a free ‘traitor’ or an enslaved citizen of the USA, circa 2013?

He risked all. No matter what he is, and what all will happen to him, the world ows him much. Tiny people seek to destroy him, very tiny men, for their own power alone, while having diminished the freedoms of people the world over.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM

It’s sad to think that the US government spies on we citizens more than it’s willing to spy on foreign powers and organizations that pose a genuine threat to national security.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM

The topic should be Obama’s exponential increase in domestic spying.

rogerb on June 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

It is, and more than that. The world understands this fully. Only obtuse creatures in the US don’t, from both sides.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM

It’s sad to think that the US government spies on we citizens more than it’s willing to spy on foreign powers and organizations that pose a genuine threat to national security.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM

PC will kill all.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Snowden is neither hero nor traitor, he is simply a whistle blower. . . .

abobo on June 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Snowden is a noble whistleblower who became a traitor. The very second he let the Chinese take a peek at his computers, he crossed the line into Enemy of the State.

Let him live the rest of his life looking over his shoulder, or perhaps driving his Mercedes 90 m.p.h. into a tree.

BigAlSouth on June 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

A hero who changed the subject, smack dab in the middle of the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the AP/Rosen scandal.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

I don’t think this is a change of subject, not at all. Every time I hear about increased phone surveillance on average citizens and the power that could give to a malicious, partisan government, I go back in my mind to what’s been happening with AP, Rosen and the IRS. It’s all part of a complete picture of Chicago politics expanded to the national level.

The Benghazi scandal is another ball of wax but that was never going to get much traction so long as people get their news from the mainstream media.

Burke on June 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Color me on the ‘traitor’ side of the ledger. I was initially sympathetic to him, and might remain so if he had confined his remarks to the press or, even better, to congress.

But one doesn’t give details of your own country’s intelligence efforts to another country, especially one which is at the very least no more pure than our own.

Snowden’s actions demonstrate that he considers the US to be the world’s greatest threat, and is acting accordingly to save the world from the US. This is not an evaluation I share. So far as I’m concerned, it puts him in the same league as Kim Philby.

pendell2 on June 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Is Snowden both hero and traitor?

No.

Sacramento on June 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM

The very second he let the Chinese take a peek at his computers, he crossed the line into Enemy of the State.

BigAlSouth on June 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

And is there yet any evidence that he’s done this?

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

A hero who changed the subject, smack dab in the middle of the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the AP/Rosen scandal.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Really sorry we had to distract you with the news that your every communication is in the hands of the government, waiting to be analyzed.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Most of what we “know” about Snowden we’ve been told by our corrupt regime and Barky’s dishonest sycophant press corps(e).

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

‘Tis the greatest treason, to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

SteveMG on June 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

A hero who changed the subject, smack dab in the middle of the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the AP/Rosen scandal.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

State dept. operatives who knew of the weak security and other things, others who immediately knew and said that it was an act of terror, before that dummy Rice was pushed on TV were just subpoena’d. It’s late but not forgotten. Hillary and Kerry stalled long enough. The cover-up is ripe with unmasking.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Most of what we “know” about Snowden we’ve been told by our corrupt regime and Barky’s dishonest sycophant press corps(e).

The South China Morning Post is a Obama apologist?

SteveMG on June 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The very second he let the Chinese take a peek at his computers, he crossed the line into Enemy of the State.

BigAlSouth on June 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

What have you imagined is on his computers?

Your call logs are not on his computers. Obama has them.

faraway on June 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

‘Tis the greatest treason, to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

SteveMG on June 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

bla-bla-bla

One can always find/invent a quote for one’s fixation. It doesn’t make it so.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

I heard Solzhenitsyn got in a lot of trouble for suggesting his gummint was up to no good.

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

obama is “Bushhitler” on steroids.

The leftists and some from the right are defending such…the irony, the irony.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Eddie Snowden is a plot device.

Fallon on June 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

The very second he let the Chinese take a peek at his computers, he crossed the line into Enemy of the State.

BigAlSouth on June 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Strictly speaking, we don’t know if he did that voluntarily, or if it was “extracted” from him in some way. If voluntary, he’s definitely playing with treason.

I’d like to think he didn’t intend to reveal that information, that the information was coerced out of him somehow. Many of us wish he was pure hero, but most likely he is a just a fallible human being. He screwed up, or was naive, or was not clearly focused on exposing only violations of the Constitution.

ZenDraken on June 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

The South China Morning Post is a Obama apologist?

SteveMG on June 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Do you really think the typical Obama voter has even heard of Hong Kong’s newspapers much less could find that city on a map?

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Chinese hero. American traitor.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

What I find really insulting at least to me is the argument that Snowden gave info to our enemies. Isn’t that the whole point of the traitor argument. Last time I checked, the US and China were global trading partners, in fact our relationship is close to one another that both economies are dependent on each other. If Snowden is considered a traitor for aiding the Chinese then so is Apple, GE, Ford, GM, Walmart and any other Fortune 500 company.

We don’t trade with our enemies period. That was the big GE scandal with Iran a few years ago. Washington cannot have it both ways

OliverB on June 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I dunno, our Ambassador was assigned to Benghazi and subsequently killed there under suspicious circumstances with rescue teams ordered to stand down, Boston was placed under martial law because the powers that be can’t be bothered to listen to jihadies because it interrupts their spying on their fellow citizens, the IRS was targeting groups based on the someone’s “enemies” list (I wonder who?)… and some guy leaking documents exposing the above is the traitor.

PoliTech on June 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

He’s a traitor. A hero does not run off to China, Russia and possibly Cuba to spill the beans. Where next, Iran or DPRK ?

simkeith on June 25, 2013 at 12:55 PM

He’s a spy, not much different from Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames or Jonathan Pollard for that matter. He’s certainly no hero. But it is kind of brilliant, this wide public disclosure of some secret programs under the guise of being a whistle blower, as it has provided a clever diversion away from his real mission, the delivery of stolen materials and programs to his foreign handlers.

Bennett on June 25, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Judging by his actions after the leak, it appears that his motives are to damage America.

OxyCon on June 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

a debate erupted as to whether Snowden’s motives mattered at all anyway. I argue in my column today that they very much do, especially since we are having to rely on his credibility to determine whether the accusations against the NSA and GCHQ are true

You are relying on his “credibility” but the information he has provided speaks for itself. If if were a hoax you wouldn’t see the government going after him, instead they would just dismiss him as a nut.

whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Really sorry we had to distract you with the news that your every communication is in the hands of the government, waiting to be analyzed.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I think I covered that in my post.

A traitor who revealed Obama’s extent of spying on Americans.

They’re all scandals of the highest order. Problem is the MSM has pushed NSA to the head of the line, creating a distraction from the other three. As usual, they are covering for him in an odd sort of way by concentrating on only the traitor side of Snowden.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Exposing Emperor God-King Obama’s domestic spying on US citizens = GOOD.
Revealing/Wikileak’ing “top secret” US intelligence to Russia and China = BAD.

Jeddite on June 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

We don’t trade with our enemies period. That was the big GE scandal with Iran a few years ago. Washington cannot have it both ways

OliverB on June 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Russia and China are our frenemies, so Washington can have it both ways!

ZenDraken on June 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Has it occurred to anyone else here that this is just a giant case of Kabuki theater?

O’s goal: To weaken the USA.

Snowden gives the ChiComs important stuff about US spying. Just what O wants.

Russians play games publicly.

O has given them what they want.

either orr on June 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM

They’re all scandals of the highest order. Problem is the MSM has pushed NSA to the head of the line, creating a distraction from the other three. As usual, they are covering for him in an odd sort of way by concentrating on only the traitor side of Snowden.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Or maybe because the concept of spying on all Americans is a bigger deal than any of those three. If you haven’t noticed, this scandal is getting people like Glenn Beck and Michael Moore to agree.

This, ironically…could be the way that Obama ends up unwittingly being “The Great Uniter”.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Betraying tyranny is a good thing. The founding fathers were all traitors. Paul Revere was a traitor, warning people that the bad guys were coming, much like Snowden. But they betrayed tyranny for the cause of freedom and liberty so we respect them. Snowden is a hero for the same reason. If he’s a traitor at all, he is the best kind.

It’s no coincidence that the people calling Snowden a traitor are the same people who support the fascist policies that he exposed. They’re the bad guys who should be on the run, hunted down by free people.

FloatingRock on June 25, 2013 at 1:14 PM

No shortage of Snowden articles on HA. Instead of focusing on the side show, why not devote some time to the real issue of government spying?

HarryBackside on June 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Or maybe because the concept of spying on all Americans is a bigger deal than any of those three. If you haven’t noticed, this scandal is getting people like Glenn Beck and Michael Moore to agree.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Not so sure about that. The IRS targeted individuals because of a specific ideology that was in contrast to Der Leader. It’s called putting a strangle hold on one’s adversaries and fixing presidential elections. That’s some serious stuff.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I think Sarah Palin had it right. Snowden is irrelevant. What he exposed, the unlawful collection of data of American citizens without due cause, is the story.

fight like a girl on June 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

They’re all scandals of the highest order. Problem is the MSM has pushed NSA to the head of the line, creating a distraction from the other three. As usual, they are covering for him in an odd sort of way by concentrating on only the traitor side of Snowden.
fogw on June 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Or maybe because the concept of spying on all Americans is a bigger deal than any of those three. If you haven’t noticed, this scandal is getting people like Glenn Beck and Michael Moore to agree.
This, ironically…could be the way that Obama ends up unwittingly being “The Great Uniter”.
MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Also, it’s not all that shocking that the news leads with the most recent news.

whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Don’t you ever wonder how many of our important decision makers have been wire tapped and blackmailed into decisions contrary to their beliefs? Snowden is what he is, who cares. I say thank you for what you have exposed and yes this is the real story we don’t hear about.

DDay on June 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Also, it’s not all that shocking that the news leads with the most recent news.

whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Well you’re dead wrong. The MSM virtually ignored the first three scandals, treating them like they were not newsworthy at all.

There goes your theory.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM

I think Sarah Palin had it right. Snowden is irrelevant. What he exposed, the unlawful collection of data of American citizens without due cause, is the story.

fight like a girl on June 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I mostly agree… and what Snowden may about the real Barky and his true past… Barky and his media suckups want kept hidden.

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM

How did I know? RT reported it. In a weird way the rest of the world know the US news better than the US reporters know

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Much like the admission that he sought the job so he could access classified and potentially steal it, which was reported towards the beginning of this farce. But, now the MSM has it, so it’s news.

GWB on June 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

A great side affect of Snowden’s revelations is that it’s exposing a lot neocon RINO’s and lefty-progressives as the corporate fascists that they are.

FloatingRock on June 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

It’s no coincidence, IMO, that a lot of the fascists calling Snowden a traitor, defending and promoting police-state tyranny, are many of the same cronies who support amnesty for illegal aliens.

FloatingRock on June 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Also, it’s not all that shocking that the news leads with the most recent news.
whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Well you’re dead wrong. The MSM virtually ignored the first three scandals, treating them like they were not newsworthy at all.
There goes your theory.
fogw on June 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM

No, there’s a reason every newscast doesn’t lead off with the controversy over Jeremiah Wright sermons or Obama’s birth certificate. If they did, it would be called “olds” instead of “news”.

What you’re saying is that you feel the media hasn’t done enough reporting on what you think is important, which is fair enough. They could lead every newscast and do non-stop hourly updates on Fast & Furious, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I find it interesting, that a bunch of people who normally don’t trust a thing that the government and the media says………

Believe everything that the government and the media says about Snowden.

LegendHasIt on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

If he’d stayed in the US, I might lean more “hero”. As is, I lean more traitor.

At this point, I think the US should just forget about him.

I don’t think he can do any more damage than he has. Rather than go through the expense of getting him back, having a trial and maybe prison for a couple years, let him live out his life in one of those socialist “utopia’s” he seems to favor. He’ll never be trusted with computer systems, so I see him living in squalor and constantly under scrutiny. Possibly even in some form of incarceration.

taznar on June 25, 2013 at 2:44 PM

No, there’s a reason every newscast doesn’t lead off with the controversy over Jeremiah Wright sermons or Obama’s birth certificate. If they did, it would be called “olds” instead of “news”.

whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s birth certificate??? They don’t infringe on my Constitutional rights. That’s noise in the spectrum. Your comparison is highly suspect.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I see a lot of folks saying a real hero would have stayed in the United States and take his medicine. Well this ain’t a Bonanza episode where justice is blind and the bad guy always gets what is coming to him. Personally I think Snowden is just a man with as many faults as a man can have, but when confronted with seeing a wrong he choose to expose it. To me he took action instead of sitting around and whining about it, in my book that is commendable. Plus, only extremists are interested in becoming martyrs.

OliverB on June 25, 2013 at 3:00 PM

No, there’s a reason every newscast doesn’t lead off with the controversy over Jeremiah Wright sermons or Obama’s birth certificate. If they did, it would be called “olds” instead of “news”.
whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s birth certificate??? They don’t infringe on my Constitutional rights. That’s noise in the spectrum. Your comparison is highly suspect.
fogw on June 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I’m pointing out the fact that no one re-reports, much less leads with news that is old. Even places like Hot Air. For example: “Issa issues four subpoenas in Benghazi probe” just made the front page here today, although it was reported yesterday by major media:

CBS

Wash Post

whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Okay, I haven’t commented in the past month, mostly because life has been CRAZY! All caps, for serious, if I told you how things unfolded this month, you’d accuse me of writing bad fiction!

Anyhow, my general view here, is that this guy is neither Hero or Traitor.

He’s not a traitor, because he’s not directly serving any foreign power, or enemy of the United States. Right or wrong, he’s doing what he believes to be in the best interests of the people, which makes the classical sense of the word traitor, inapplicable.

Hero is also the wrong term, because while his behavior has also been reckless and self aggrandizing. Which has somewhat hurt whatever cause he believes in.

All of this however, I consider to be mostly immaterial.

Regardless what we think of the guy personally, the information he revealed is startling to say the least, and should be alarming to any individual with a healthy sense of skepticism.

Regardless what certain people on our own side say, the whole NSA/Prism thing, is a demonstration that the government has far too much power in our lives. THAT should be the story, not Snowden himself.

Though, I do have to admit that I’m taking a small sense of joy in the Obama administrations impotence in this manner. I realize I shouldn’t, that it’ll hurt everyone in the long run. Regardless, I cannot watch that mans flailing and not take a certain sense of perverse joy in it.

WolvenOne on June 25, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Plus, only extremists are interested in becoming martyrs.

I just want to point out that there’s a difference between people with some fanatical idea that drives them into becoming martyrs and doing what’s right knowing you will be martyred for it. It’s the difference between jihadi suicide bombers and missionaries being murdered for spreading the Gospel.

On topic, I would say that I was initially sympathetic to him right up until he ran into the arms of our enemies. I understand fearing for your life (I wouldn’t trust this administration to tell me the time of day), but run somewhere that doesn’t hate our guts and maybe I’ll be a little more sympathetic. As it is, I’m leaning more traitor.

All that said, can we please get back on the topic of the government unconstitutionally keeping tabs on everyone?

Othniel on June 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Regardless what we think of the guy personally, the information he revealed is startling to say the least, and should be alarming to any individual with a healthy sense of skepticism.
Regardless what certain people on our own side say, the whole NSA/Prism thing, is a demonstration that the government has far too much power in our lives. THAT should be the story, not Snowden himself.
WolvenOne on June 25, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Yup. I don’t care two owl droppings either way about the guy but I’m not going to shoot the messenger.

whatcat on June 25, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Othniel- martyrdom is the only way a man without ability can become famous.

OliverB on June 25, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Yesterday, a debate erupted as to whether Snowden’s motives mattered at all anyway. I argue in my column today that they very much do, especially since we are having to rely on his credibility to determine whether the accusations against the NSA and GCHQ are true:

If that’s true, then Clapper, and the Director of the NSA directly OPENLY BLATANTLY lying to Congress repeatedly would also matter wouldn’t it?

If it’s Snowden vs the NSA and we need to question the credibility of Snowden; we also need the same questions on the credibility of the NSA. Don’t we?

How much credibility do you grant someone on an issue where you can already prove they’ve lied to you multiple times?

I’ve posted the Clapper lying video, the Wyden/Udall letter to Congress from the NSA, the NSA director transcript to the Senate… I can dig them up again; but what we have is a clear pattern of constant lying from the NSA claiming they’re not doing what we now know they were doing.

Someone might have the knowledge to discredit Snowden AND the credibility to be believed making that statemnt; but for the life of me I can’t come up with anyone who hasn’t already lost every shred of credibility from the NSA/Administration who would be trusted to debate Snowden that would be trusted WITHOUT evidence of their claims… and proving a negative would require more knowledge than any intelligence agency would give.

It’s easy to give up trust; it’s not easy to get it back… and the NSA hasn’t been trustworthy in their statements for years… why would they be considered trustworthy today?

gekkobear on June 26, 2013 at 3:02 PM

On topic, I would say that I was initially sympathetic to him right up until he ran into the arms of our enemies. I understand fearing for your life (I wouldn’t trust this administration to tell me the time of day), but run somewhere that doesn’t hate our guts and maybe I’ll be a little more sympathetic. As it is, I’m leaning more traitor.

Othniel on June 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Do me a favor… list the freedom loving US allies who you like and respect; but you you are also 100% certain would never extradite Snowden for this action.

I’m curious how long that list is. I’ve been working on it for a few weeks and so far I have… Doesn’t-Exist-istan And I think they’re a trusted ally, but I’m not positive.

gekkobear on June 26, 2013 at 3:05 PM