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Edward Snowden: Whistleblower Extraordinaire

In favor of Edward Snowden

Chris Ware Caricature of Edward Snowden (MCT)

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How can one man in Russia be the cause of so much debate in the United States? He may be in Russia now, but before he was living life on the run, he had done something in America which not many people dared to do. Some call him a traitor; some say that he was only just doing the right thing. But how does one decide their opinion on him when both sides make clear and thoughtful points? After reading “Edward Snowden, Whistleblower” by the editorial board of the New York Times, one may consider Edward Snowden as a hero, who was only trying to inform the public of the actions that their own government was keeping from them. Hiding from the public that they were hearing phone calls, lying to Congress, and violating the Constitution, all seem like things the public should be aware of.

He should not be considered a “scoundrel” when Snowden has done nothing but do the country a great service. In the work “Edward Snowden is no Hero” by Jeffery Toobin, he writes “The question of course, is whether the government can function when all of its employees (and contractors) can take it upon themselves to sabotage the programs they don’t like” (paragraph 6) Snowden did not shut down the government, he shared information. Many new rules come about because of personal feelings too. If Rosa Parks hadn’t personally felt so tired on the bus, she wouldn’t have opened everyone’s eyes. Today, many rights have come about because of her. It has nothing to do with how this touched him personally, but he knew that as an American citizen he would not want to keep something this big from the public.

The excerpt “Edward Snowden, Whistle-blower” lists the rules, violations, laws, and lies that the NSA have gone against and done. One specifically, “…James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress when testifying in March that the NSA was not collecting data on millions of Americans” (paragraph 9, bullet 4) shows that the NSA has not been truthful. These lies open the eyes of many. What else could they be lying to us about? Snowden informed the public of what has been going on behind those closed doors and the things that they do not have the power to see.

Should it be considered a crime to make the country more aware and should Snowden be considered a scoundrel when he told the public what is really going on with the systems that they trust? If one person can inform the country it is considered civil disobedience, but lying to them is something that the NSA thinks is okay. It is clear that a government is needed in the United States, it is not a perfect country, but it should not be such a big deal that the country has found out the truth behind the scenes.

The country, because of this, has only gained more knowledge. There have not been huge revolts or a civil war, but there has simply been an “eye-opener”, all because of whistle-blower, Edward Snowden. In the process of informing Snowden did break confidentiality, but who should be at fault for hiding things from the country?

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Edward Snowden: Whistleblower Extraordinaire