With the Edward Snowden movie coming out the conversation regarding his motives has been rekindled. I see a lot of people referring to him as a traitor because he didn’t go through proper channels to stop the National Security Agency’s (NSA) indiscriminate violation of our privacy.
What may people seem to have forgotten is that we already know what happens when whistleblowers go through proper channels. William Binney did exactly that. He went to his superiors and eventually went so far as to try to get the Senate involved.
What did he get for his efforts? A lot of stonewalling with a great big side of nothing. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. He did get to experience seeing armed federal agents threaten his family at gunpoint and then being kidnapped by them.
Repeating the same thing over and expecting different results is often referred to as a sign of insanity. Knowing what happened to Binney what other recourse did Snowden have? Should he have just shut his mouth? If so, what recourse do the people have against an overreaching government?
The history of the NSA and its whistleblowers needs more consideration when considering Snowden’s actions.