Is NSA Leaker Edward Snowden A Hero Or Traitor?

Edward Snowden is seen in this still image taken from a video during an interview with the Guardian newspaper in his hotel room in Hong Kong. The Guardian via Reuters

NSA Leaker Ignites Global Debate: Hero Or Traitor? -- Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) -- A 29-year-old who admitted leaking details of a secret U.S. government program that collects massive phone and Internet data now says he doesn't want attention.

Too late, Edward Snowden. You're getting it -- on every scale, good and bad, across the Internet on social media and on every news broadcast. People of every age and range of experience, including national security experts, are weighing in on what you've done.

Some love you, others despise you. You're now a lightning rod for spirited debate surrounding government transparency versus public protection against the threat of terrorism.

Like WikiLeaks' source Bradley Manning, now on trial for leaking secrets, Snowden said he independently decided that the program was counter to American principles and should be revealed.

"There is no public oversight," he told the Guardian newspaper.

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My Comment: This is a tough one for me.  Am I surprised by his revelations .... no. Am I surprised to see how the elites in Washington are responding to this scandal .... no. Has he broke the law .... many are saying yes .... some others are saying no. Has he damaged U.S. intelligence efforts .... probably. Will he be caught .... eventually. Will he go to jail .... probably. Am I glad that he has disclosed this information so that people like me can read about it .... definitely.

But as to the question .... is a hero or a traitor .... I guess it depends on where you are coming from. For someone like me who is deeply skeptical of government and the powers that it has .... he is a hero. But I also have a deep respect for the law and for our system of government that elects legislators who legislate laws ... and while the secrets that Edward Snowden has disclosed are secrets of process rather than details, it appears that he has broken the law and he will need to be punished. He also took an oath when he started to work for the intelligence community .... an oath that it appears that he has violated. Sighhh .... as I said .... no easy answers.

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