Presumably still hiding in Hong Kong and a tad sketchy in the resume honesty department, American Edward Snowden leaked documents in early June regarding the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities.
In a June 6 interview with the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Snowden said “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
He declared later–sounding like presidential aspirant Ron Paul and his son, Senator Rand Paul– that “At this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing but policy documents.”
According to, New York Times writers Sam Tanenhaus and Vijai Singh, “Daniel Ellsberg and Edward J. Snowden maintain that they performed a public service even as others label them traitors. Villains or saints, leakers often cast their actions as a kind of moral crusade.” In their 2+ minute video about leakers and their consequences from Alger Hiss to Edward Snowden, the authors suggest that Hiss’ leaks to “defeat fascism” (which Nixon glommed on to for political reasons) ushered in an era of anti-communist fervor (McCarthyism) in the country. Daniel Ellsberg’s leaks may’ve planted the seeds for Watergate. And Snowden’s may cause even more anti-government feeling in a country already doubting government’s effectiveness.
Interestingly, Hiss, Ellsberg and Snowden—as well as Bradley Manning– were all relatively young and had grown disillusioned with their country. See the NYTimes video.
Do you think Snowden’s a villain or a hero?