There is a lot that is not being discussed or even considered in the public debate about Edward Snowden. No matter what side you come down on, I am amazed at how easily some people make their judgments. They’ve thought it out and they know exactly what he should have done — what they would have done in his place … Hogwash! The idea that one of us would ever find ourselves in a situation in any way similar and dire as Snowden’s is ludicrous. To furthermore have the temerity to suggest that you could have and would have done better represents the epitome of self-delusion.
Though very few of us are in a position to actually know the types of nefarious activities our government is involved in (some of which, if history be the judge, is not only illegal but downright immoral), there are people who do know — many hundreds, perhaps thousands, in all branches of government stretching out to many private sectors of our economy.
What about them? Are they all heroes because they keep their mouths shut?
Obviously, they don’t get singled out or judged in the media or talked about around water coolers. Their anonymity and their “patriotic” oaths shield them from public scrutiny and perhaps from moral misgivings as well.
But maybe they shouldn’t be harshly judged, either. If my job, my reputation, my very freedom and safety were guaranteed to be in serious jeopardy by “going through proper channels” to expose high-level government crimes (I’m not speaking here about mere whistle-blowing for a cash reward with only my job at stake. I’m talking about everything is on the line), well, I’m not so sure …
Finally, there is a big difference between being a traitor and being not so smart.