I do not agree with what Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden did. Manning did not just expose some cover up of an incident, he released tens of thousands of documents the contents of which could have an adverse effect on our national security. He apparently had a meltdown over his gender identity issues and, in a snit, released lots of stuff. There were other avenues for him to reveal the cover up but he chose an incorrect one. Some hail him as a hero but he is not.
In addition to exposing the illegal spying by our government, Snowden took untold numbers of documents and his actions could damage our security. There were plenty of ways he could have gotten the spying information out that would not have landed him in hot water. He chose an incorrect one and while his actions have enlightened millions of Americans the issue will be more about him than the wrong he exposed.
The interesting thing in both of these cases is that, while what they did was wrong, they both followed the instructions of Homeland Security. For years now the DHS has been telling us that if we see something we should say something. These people, as misguided as their methods were, saw something and said something.
Unfortunately for them they saw something the government was doing or had done and said something about it. Big government does not like its misdeeds exposed. It only likes when we are reporting each other TO them. Being reported for their wrong doing enrages them and results in criminal charges.
I personally think that these two broke the law and should be punished BUT I admit that they had valid concerns and could have exposed the wrong doing legally. They would have had more credibility and would have avoided trouble.
In any event, they were doing as DHS instructed them.
I wonder if DHS thought their see something, say something campaign would come back to bite them…
No matter what, things are wrapping up for Manning but the Snowden saga is just beginning. Regardless of the outcome we are much more aware of government wrong doing because of him.
I just wish he had done it the right way.
Never surrender, never submit.