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28.6.13

Hero or Traitor: Edward Snowden





Let me set a scene for you, if you will: 

Imagine the year is 2006 here in the United States. During the "war on terror" and someone was giving our intelligence on the terrorist we had in our sites to these same terrorists. Then imagine that this person was an American aiding the terrorist with information he stole from NSA computer systems. What would you call this person? Traitor, crook or UN-American? Of what crime would you accuse him? Treason, theft or espionage? 

Now say this man was named Edward Snowden. Do the labels from the previous scene still hold? Or does your view change based on your political views of the moment.

Sure Mr. Snowden exposed NSA spying on everyday Americans. This is something that has been widely known for many of the last years since 9/11. Still it is understandable that the masses where oblivious to this spying. So it is good to have this out in the open to the entire nation, not just those buried in the political system. The issue with Mr. Snowden is two-fold. 

1) Snowden knew of this spying program in 2006 and just sat on it because he supported G.W. Bush.

2) It has been reported by Chinese officials he has disclosed to them our own NSA spying in China. 

We will discuss these two points and the issues with them next:

First, Mr. Snowden knew of the NSA spying program way back in 2006, did he come forward then? No! He made a political decision to withhold the data he had collected until after George W. Bush left office. He has stated he hoped things might change at the NSA under the Obama administration. When this didn't happen he exposed it. 

The issue with this is he waited for 6 years because he supported the Bush Administration and he thought he could use this information, collected in 2006, to take down a political figure he never supported. So the US masses had to wait until he felt he could make a political gain with his stolen information.

Second, it has been reported by many news outlets that Mr. Snowden has given China information on NSA spying in that nation according to Chinese officials. It has been reported he has told them about how and where we have hacked their systems and when we did said hacking according to these reports. If this is the case does that change his hero status? If he is giving other nations our national secrets even if it is not treason he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

In the end, sure Mr. Snowden did the nation well by informing the US population they were being spied on by its own government, but to be handing out our national intelligence secrets to nations like China and Russia is simply UN-American and a crime.


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