When actions violate the rule of law, namely our Constitution, it is incumbent on those who swore to uphold the Constitution to call attention to it. Some say that Ed Snowden is a traitor for letting the public know about PRISM. Let us assume that PRISM is real and not a red herring or a hoax as some folks contend. It is my understanding that Snowden would have taken two oaths and, when put in a rock and a hard place, chose to uphold the greater of the two. What he did initially was good and right (note the emphasis). In my interpretation, by blowing the whistle on the absurd practice of using a dragnet to collect all of our information, Snowden brought to light a practice that can be argued violates the 4th amendment. The interpretation of how the 4th is to be applied in the digital age is a matter that will surely come up sooner rather than later in light of this scandal. I would just like to point out that the 4th amendment protects people's "papers" as well as themselves, property, etc. Today's "papers" are the emails, electronic documents and recordings we use. Just because they are housed by third parties on servers does not mean they are any less ours! But I digress.
Frankly, I think many of us suspected that our government might being doing this. It sure confirmed a lot of conspiracy theories, to say the least. Tin foilers everywhere have been vindicated. Unfortunately, things are not turning out to be as clear cut as they did initially.
Listen to the story of Vincent Cefalu on the Mike Huckabee Show (6-14-2013). Vince is an ATF agent who blew the whistle on Fast and Furious. His life has been turned upside down for doing the right thing.
Most whistleblowers stay in the U.S. even at great cost to their personal lives. Snowden has not stayed in the U.S. After hearing Vince's story, I cannot say that I blame Snowden for initially putting some distance between him and the NSA. However, the longer he stays in countries that are at best "frenemies", the worse it reflects on his intentions. Furthermore, the fact that he claims that he has the technical data on many other items is disturbing. It is looking more and more like he is now treading on dangerous ground. I waited on blogging on this topic for exactly this reason: I wanted to see what he was going to do in the aftermath. I do not know if Snowden has crossed a line yet. What I do know is that releasing sensitive material that does not violate our rights and that harms the United States interests is not the way to win the battle. I applaud Snowden for his whistleblowing, but he needs to come back to the U.S. and fight the battle here, not amongst others that do not have our best interest at heart.