Reader's Responses
EDWARD SNOWDEN…Hero or Traitor

This story was very difficult to handle.  When it first broke, we like many others wanted to rush right out and crown this young man with the mantle of hero.  We are hungry in this nation for real patriotic persons who would stand up for the country first and themselves second. On June 6th, the Guardian publication released a story that this young man had uncovered that our government through the National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on Americans to a much greater extent then heretofore known. The young man was an employee of a contractor hired by the NSA to perform computer related services. Then on the 9th of June his taped interview was released. In this interview he revealed that two programs were being widely used by the NSA to monitor and record American’s phone and internet e-mails for surveillance and were stored…a very broad net.  It first appeared as though he was assuming a whistleblower status and bring forth information that our government was stretching it’s authority beyond that which was acceptable by the American people and should be discussed in public forums and congress..  Hero? Much has been said about the lack of cooperation between liberals and conservatives in Washington however in this case it was almost like a monsoon of negative reactions from liberals and conservatives alike. Snowden was proclaimed a hero by many well known names inside and outside of government. We, on the other hand withheld our judgment. While we were sorely tempted to jump on this bandwagon something held us back.  Perhaps it was that down deep we were troubled by his fleeing to a Communist country.  We ask ourselves, “why would he leave the country of free speech and a whistleblower statute and go to a country which had neither. He could have been a hero here. However, once there the other shoe dropped.  Snowden revealed that the USA was spying and hacking China, surveilling the Russian President and that during the G 8 Conference in England hacking e-mails from an Internet café on anyone using it.  Hey guess what, for a long time now other countries have spied on us and hacked us also.  But it is not something you talk about. You also do not tell how it is being done. Snowden was giving up operational methods-sources and identifying those being surveilled.  He had 4 computers and over 200 files. and obviously intended to divulge top secret documents to our enemies and that no longer is a hero but a traitor. On June 21st charges were filed by the government and on the 22nd extradition was requested.  Of course, neither China or Russia was going to do that when they had Snowden, his files, his knowledge and willingness to give it all up. On the 23rd he went to Russia and supposedly has been staying there until he can get asylum from some country. Since most probably if he gets his wish it will be from another communistic country Obviously if he strongly believed in this country, freedom of expression and protector of individual freedoms he would not have chosen this route. The mantle has fallen as has the hero on the pedestal.  Hopes and dreams dashed. Showden is no longer what could have been. He has lost forever his chance to be a modern day hero.  Today 6/30, He released information of our spying on the European Union this will most certainly strain our relations with European countries in the future. He further stated the only reason he took the government related job was to steal secrets and not the altruistic discovery originally thought. We now know he is working with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks who is presently hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy evading answering charges of sex crimes. We intend to follow this story and put up updates as needed.  Also we intend to write separate stories on the NSA debacle…watch for it.

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