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Edward Snowden: traitor or hero?

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Edward Snowden released a video Christmas message on Channel 4 on December 25, 2013. The title was an Alternative Christmas Message. The comments on the Vimeo broadcast of Snowden’s message were overwhelmingly supportive of Snowden. Many of the comments were by people outside of the US. They view the decision by Snowden to release proof of spying as a positive action. You can view Snowden's message in the attached video.

Snowden signed a non-disclosure agreement when he got his Top Secret security clearance. He is definitely in violation of that agreement. Snowden faced a spiritual challenge when he knowingly breached his agreement by disclosing the extent of spying by various US government agencies. His actions are punishable by extended prison terms if he is extradited back to the US. There are several governments that have offered sanctuary for Snowden based upon their moral assessment of his actions versus those of the US government.

To many in the US and the rest of the world, there is great gratitude that he had the personal courage to reveal the spying by various US government agencies against the citizens of the US, and top personnel in governments of those alleged to be US allies, and of course, the “terrorists”.

It would be a supreme irony to have Snowden tried “in abstentia” for treason as he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Snowden did not reveal anything that the terrorists of the world did not already know. It was no surprise that the CIA, NSA, DIA, FBI and the other alphabet soup organizations involved in the “US war on terror” are actively collecting and acting on as much information as possible. Snowden helped define the boundaries of that spying in the US and around the globe.

NSA and the CIA have engaged in international spying against such terrorist individuals as the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and the Prime Minister of Germany, Angela Merkel. They have had the cooperation of the government spy agencies in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and a normally peaceful Canada. Like the US, these government agencies are spying on their own citizens, which is often in direct conflict with their operational charters. Everyone in the group is sharing information on people with no ties to terrorist organizations.

Wikipedia provides a List of assassinations and acts or terrorism against Americans that begins with the killing of an abolitionist in 1837 by a group of slavery advocates. The 9/11 attack killed 2,997. Since then, three people were killed in the Boston Marathon bombings by Chechen brothers Dzhoklar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As of October 2013, approximately 51% of those surveyed viewed Snowden as somewhat of a hero while 49% viewed Snowden as somewhat of a traitor.

When Nazi guards were tried after the end of WWII for the atrocities committed against Jews, Gypsies, and many other groups, the guards were not able to use the defense that they acted under orders from their superiors.

Edward Snowden was part of an organized effort to subvert the US Constitution and the charters of the NSA, CIA and FBI with regard to collecting and analyzing information about US citizens that were not directly related to a crime. If Snowden had been tried for treason for participating in these domestic spying operations, he could not have used the “following orders” defense.

Those that ordered the spying should not be allowed to hide behind the shield of the USA PATRIOT ACT when violating the rights of US citizens that are provided in the US Constitution. The CIA director that gave the go ahead to collect data on US citizens residing within the US violated the CIA charter, and should be tried as a traitor.

Edward Snowden did a lot more good in revealing the treachery of the US government agencies than any damage to the ability to suppress terrorist acts in the US. The terrorists already knew what was happening with regard to spying. Snowden confirmed that the actions of US government agencies were violating the right of privacy and creating illegal searches against US citizens that were not involved in criminal activities.

Snowden's prosecution for violating his security agreement is based upon justifying the embarrassing actions of the US government in the pursuit of global terrorists while collecting data on law abiding US citizens. Snowden may be convicted for his decision to breach his agreement, but he acted in good consciousness in revealing the extent of the destruction of our rights as US citizens.

Edward Snowed is a hero that risked his freedom to help protect the rights of all US citizens.

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