Certainly, this post will stray from my topic space as I've done in the past. I feel compelled to opine on the NSA leaks saga (purposely not calling it the Edward Snowden saga for reasons that will be apparent).
In my life I've been a tin foil hat arch right wing reactionary, a socialist, a strident atheist, a Christian (as I believe today), a doctrinaire libertarian, and many others. But one thing in my belief system and philosophy that has never wavered is my staunch belief in a right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment ostensibly assures us of our right to be "secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures...."
This right has been continuously eroded by Congress, by the Courts, and by the Executive branch. In my opinion, far and away the most egregious violation is the odious "USA Patriot Act of 2001." In causing the Congress to pass, the President to sign, and the people to accept this blatant violation of the founding principles of our Country, Al Queda and Bin Laden in fact have won. The nation we were no longer exists.
Now, of course, the ability to infiltrate into every private area of all of our lives should the mood strike has been the heartfelt desire of anyone involved in law enforcement, no matter how tangentially, from time immemorial. But it wasn't to have happened here.
Now, along comes Edward Snowden. I'm completely disinterested in who he is, what his motivation was, where he went to school (or didn't), or anything else about him personally. My forlorn hope is that his revelations will cause a backlash against the encroaching "security at any cost" rationale behind the actual "we need the power because we want it" motivation of our security nation overseers and the actions they've undertaken to accomplish this goal.
Sadly, the propaganda machine, from right to left, has succeeded in making the debate (such as it is) about Snowden. Is he a traitor? A whistleblower? A Chinese spy? A frustrated loser? A narcissist with a martyr complex?
I don't care. The fact is that those who have promulgated and supported the activities revealed by Snowden are the real traitors here, and that will be lost in the debate about Snowden.