Hero or Traitor?

Sometimes we get a week in the news that compels me to write about it, even if I’d rather talk about the Blackhawks, the NBA, or what a great year it is for the tree fruit crop. Edward Snowden, a real life Terminal Man, can’t seem to get out of the Moscow Airport, but he’s causing a heartburn epidemic in Washington by exposing widespread collection of data on just about everybody everywhere. It makes it hard for Obama to complain about Chinese spying and theft of intellectual property when the NSA is gathering data on you and me and every other person in the world with a phone, a computer, and a tin can with a string attached. Snowden will go down as a useful historical asterisk. I doubt he will ever serve a day in prison, but he’ll probably get a nice book deal. Unfortunately, the “right to privacy” will never be the same, unless you use sign language or carrier pigeons to pass messages.


The big financial news was that Ben Bernanke and his band of brothers are considering “pulling the punch bowl.” The Fed’s hinting sent interest rates on the 10-year bond up .5%, a 25% increase. Mortgage rates have bounced up a point. The Fed is considering this action because the economy is improving and it wants to prick bubbles before they get too puffed up. Bernanke will be out of the Fed soon, so he’s also working on his book deal. I still wouldn’t buy bonds – or gold.


The immigration reform bill got 68 votes in the Senate after they threw a ton of money at the Border Patrol. The administrators have no idea how they can spend it all. It is a great moment to be in the electric fence business. The Republican controlled House now has a very bad case of heartburn. Does Pepto-Bismol have a futures contract? Latino voters went 71-29% for Obama in 2012. If the GOP House kills the immigration bill, that 71-29% may go to 90-10% in 2016, putting Hillary in the White House. Do the Republicans truly have a death wish? Stay tuned.


And finally, the Supreme Court goes 5-4 against the Defense of Marriage Act. The country is clearly moving toward acceptance of gay marriage, especially younger people. It was a really tough week if you are a secretly gay Tea Partier who visits gay Web sites, is presently negotiating on a condo, and has bet money on the Republicans for the Presidency in 2016.

Question: Is Snowden a hero or traitor?

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23 thoughts on “Hero or Traitor?

  1. Ken

    I’m not sure about Hero but for now I must say I am very proud of him.
    I think he needs to be applauded.

  2. David Llooyyd

    Hero. When Michael Moore and Glen Beck both agree that Snowden did the right thing, and then Wikileaks and most of the non-malicious hacker organizations in the world support the guy, then you know he likely did indeed do the right thing.

    When did government get so big that it went from protecting and representing us (to serve and protect) to being a real threat.

  3. jim buchanan

    HERO ! If we had more people like this brave man we would not be governed by the people who have been controlling us for decades.

  4. Trent

    He may have been a hero had he gone about it the right way- through Congress. Once he fled to China and subsequently Russia with sensitive, stolen information, he became a traitor or at least gave up any chance of hero status- plain and simple. My .02

  5. Paul

    Hero or Traitor? How about neither. He typifies how ineffective the Federal Government is at operational effectiveness. A non-govt employee with access to highly sensitive information that can walk out with data and flee the country. In the end I think this scares me more than what the government is doing. They may be able to collect all this information, but if they can’t even figure out how to manage the security of it, how can we believe they will capable of effectively protecting us and using it defensively.

  6. Dick Crosby

    Not either. Yet! In my mind. ???? Does he really have any information that is not already known by our so called “enemies”. At this point I think he’s got Washington by the ying yang, and they’re quite uncomfortable having been exposed to this further degree. However, if we knew, or had any idea, of what goes on in that Chicago inspired (suburb) cesspool, we’d probably run for a safe haven, somewhere. Also, however, I don’t know where there is a safe haven anymore. And I doubt if Snowden has found one in Russia. So far, I’m chuckling at the administrations discomfort. I’m leaning toward Hero. But, he is a thief. Shoulda done it differently. Like teamed up with Rand Paul.

  7. Ed

    I believe that he did all of us a valuable service by exposing what I believe is a fourth amendment violation which makes him a hero. Is the media still on the side of the people? Where are they in this mess?

    If he stole data he is a traitor.

    If he was able to access and steal data as a contractor, then we are at more risk because the people collecting our data can’t manage it properly.

  8. Ron

    Perhaps not a hero, but definitely not a traitor. He exemplifies what happens when you follow your conscience and you have a government that is leaning toward tyranny more & more with every passing day.

  9. Josh

    Hero, anyone who says otherwise is a fascist. Our government has managed to get more American’s killed is useless wars in the past decade than any terrorist action. Not to quote platitudes but I’ll just invoke Franklin yet again.

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    We don’t live in pre-911 territory anymore? You sure as hell got that right. We used to be free and then our government exploited a tragedy to put the final stone in the foundation of our wilful self-imprisonment. Scare up the populace and tell them we need to infringe upon their God given(not government given) rights to keep them safe from a non-existent threat. Seriously, how many Americans have terrorists killed in the last decade? Less than 6,000? In 2010 alone there were over 30,000 American gun deaths. Well I guess to keep you safe we better take those away too! Over 30,000 Americans died in automobile accidents last year, better ban cars we have to keep you safe! We don’t live in pre-gun America anymore, we don’t live in pre-car American anymore. Better ban that stuff! Alcohol and tobacco aren’t safe, better ban those too! Your freedom means nothing when compared to your safety and well being right? Yeah. Great argument.

  10. Jim Goerges

    Why aren’t we talking about the evil in the office and politics? Why are we thinking dah, that it is all right to listen in to American’s and the rest of the world. I still can’t believe people voted for socialism. So instead it is ok to only talk about the guy who spilled the beans. I think we need the left out.

  11. John "Jack" Frost

    How many of you have a Facebook account, or Linked in or any of the other of the narcissistic electronic gatherings which tells the world about YOU. How many use Google or have credit card accounts. Your life is an open book, and the government has no interest in you unless you are conspiring to cause injury to either the government or its people. The Snowden defection has too phases. It exposes that the government collects data. And Snowden also exposes how that data is collected which is of great interest to our enemies. He is also a tattletale, which I suspect is one of his characteristics by which he has been able to get attention. His exposure of routine intercepts of friendly communication, allows those friends the justification of better than we are. Some fact: This is a kid who quit school as a highschool soph. There is no doubt that he continued his education on the internet and in the local coffee bar. Where the hell did he acquire wisdom or is this not required for adults of this generation. He used his fathers connection as a former intell office in the Coast Guard. This is a step up in getting a security clearance. Its in the genes! He is a skilled hacker which is useful in maintaining your own security systems. He stole the files and exposed them to the light of day. IT WAS HIS DAY OF FAME. What are the consequences of his acts. Well, it will help those terrorists, who want to harm us, evade detection to carry out their attack.
    Hero or Traitor. Pollard is a hero in Israel, but he exposed secrets to the Mossad that keep him in jail, because he is a traitor in the U.S. Come talk to me at the next big event and don’t make me regret my sacrifice in WWII as a wasted effort

  12. Joe

    He is neither a hero nor a traitor.
    He is a naive young man who will pay for what HE thought was the right thing.
    He will learn, once he gets to where he is going, and the realization of what he has lost. Thinking that going to China,(HK) and then onto Russia was the right thing.

  13. Bruskie

    Is Snowden a hero? He is not a hero and I am not a fascist. If he were a hero he would have gone to the powers that be in this country and exposed, properly, what every American should have known since the Patriot Act was put into place and then he would be a hero. Instead he runs off to China and now Russia to hand over the USA’s spying secrets to other country’s that could easily be considered our enemy’s. Another question never asked is how the corporations that are “responsible” for the government’s secrets look into their employees and what responsibility do they hold in this disaster? I agree with other posts that Snowden looked like a very intelligent looser from the start, yet he is given this kind of power and security clearance by a private company. WHY?

    I disagree with this type of government intrusion and I believe the Federal Government is well out of control. I’m glad this is now up front and center and the American people, as well as people around the world are outraged. That does not make Snowden a hero at all! He is a traitor in the way he went about what he did and nothing else!

  14. DRB

    America is now at a crossroads; we can go down the path of tyranny being disguised as security, or we can start to turn the tide little by little and wake each other up. We need more Snowdens out there, those at the level that they can see the beast for what it truly is. Those individuals are the Paul Reveres of our time and need to be heard. These are the days that we need to set aside our political differences and focus only on worrying about liberty and freedom. We are NOT a Socialist State so let’s get back to what we were really in the beginning. A Republic.
    On a second note: Real American legal Latinos don’t want the illegals in this county any more than anyone else. They worked and got here legally and the last thing they want is to have to pay for the freeloaders any more than the rest of us.

  15. John Hershberger

    I think Hero is the wrong choice of words. Perhaps patriot would be a better choice.. Hero brings up images of Firemen running into a burning building to save a child.

    What he did was expose the extent to us of how far our goverenment has gone ovewr the edge in the name of protecting us.

    I dont think the bad guys learned anything new from this unless they are really stupid bad guys. They would have to assume that all their comunications are already monitored.

    “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” — Mark Twain

  16. George

    Isn’t it ironic that the first place he flees to is China and then to Russia? If he was truly for freedom, then he wouldn’t have gone there and he would be talking about the fact that the two countries he has sought shelter in are both communist and both abuse their citizens and who trample on human rights everyday and have been for centuries.

    Instead, this self proclaimed freedom lover seeks shelter now in 19 countries. Even Russia told him he could stay but he had to stop exposing USA secrets.

    Why does he think our government secrets should be open and free when he can’t even tell us where HE IS or what he’s doing? Why does he get the priviledge of secrecy when our government doesn’t?

    The other factor is NO ONE appointed him the arbitor of our foreign policy or how we interact with other governments. He has absolutely NO CLUE what’s going on between all of our allies and enemies – he only has a small snapshot of information. Now HE thinks he can improve our relations with everyone by exposing our government’s policies when he doesn’t know a damn thing about it? So he appoints himself the guy who decides what information goes to what government? He’s horribly unqualified to do that.

    Yep, he’s definitely a traitor who doesn’t have the guts to stand up, tell us where he is and what he’s doing. Why the secret movement? Why the hiding? That’s not what he’s supposed to be for – freedom of information. Why does it only work the way HE wants it to work?

  17. Donna

    I notice that I almost always seem to agree with Jack Frost. Wise man. I consider Snowden a traitor to our country because of the WAY he went about exposing what he found. He did not do it as a Patriot, he ran and hid in another county.

  18. DEMojica

    If he went to Congress, he would have been a HERO! Now he’s a BUM!

    As an American, born in the US territory of Puerto Rico, I am 100% against amnesty. There are many, many Puerto Ricans that feel that their jobs, in Puerto Rico and on the mainland are going to be taken (stolen) away if this amnesty bill passes. Those on the island are pissed off the most. They do not have a voice or vote in Congress and try are going to be affected the most of any American, including Black-Americans, by this bill.

  19. rob klauber

    If one life has been saved by The Patriot Act because we got the goods on potential terrorist activity then I am all for increased surveillance. My guess based on testimony by those that know and because we have not had any terrorist acts in this country close to the scale of 9/11 since, the government is doing what it should to protect us, at least pertaining to the allegations about overstepping. The government did not do its job at all when it came to Fort Hood, by far the worst terrorist act in our country since 9/11 – and home grown no less. The military psychiatrist terrorist killer of 15 of our service men and women is still awaiting trial 4 years later AND collecting a government paycheck to this day. WOW. A real trampling of our freedoms. Most of us are probably totally unaware of that.

    We are not talking about a lessening of freedom. We are talking about a POTENTIAL lessening of privacy. The same bombasts who decry this as tyranny will be the first to stampede oratorically how the government has not done enough when the next great terrorist act happens.

    By the way, does anybody really feel that our freedom of action, no less expression and thought has decreased? Give me a ******* break. We have unprecedented freedoms since the internet and the cell phone. The government does not care how “immoral” or “perverse” we get, there’s just too much of it by almost everyone’s standards – for others that is – to even attempt to control.

    They are not tapping the phones of the general public, they are algorithmically looking for certain patterns before they surveil for potential activity which has and will save lives. Snowden is neither a traitor nor hero. This is all a lot of smoke blowing. Snowden imo was misguided but also a law breaker and should be prosecuted under the the law because he did breach his contract. He didn’t sell or even release specific secrets that will endanger our security but he did break the law and should do time.

  20. Stephen Eddy

    Here’s a difficult question to answer, for sure. Snowden is a hero in my mind because he made the U.S. public aware of something that has been going on for a long time; eavesdropping on our personal communications by those invisible folks who control cyberspace. I’ve known for a long time now that they were reading my writing, listening to my conversations and watching my movements but was I going to crawl under my bed and cower there forever? NO! That’s no way to live my life…even if I’m addicted to the Internet. I keep on using it, writing and browsing. I keep on chatting either vocally or through the keyboard and I keep on communicating ‘COS THEY ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING THEY WANNA KNOW ABOUT ME! That’s all.
    Those folks who may be secretly working for the KGB or gathering secrets for Al Qaeda, they may be concerned, but I live like an ordinary American guy so I’m not fazed much by Snowden’s revelations. I’ve had e-mails disappear completely from my account and I was initially wondering what happened to ’em. Of course, I was concerned but then realized that the “government” may have confiscated ’em. I faced the fact that it’s the chance I take using the Internet and cyberspace. I don’t know who is in control of it and I’ve little chance if any of ever finding out…but I still use it as an ordinary American guy. That’s the gist of it all right there.
    If I was gonna pass state secrets to someone, I’d be damned sure that I was as secure as I could be, like those old spy movies where they meet in the park and exchange brief cases with each other….then everything goes wrong and the shooting starts!
    So Snowden can be seen as a traitor to some of those Americans more concerned with their personal privacy than myself, but it’s good that they learn the stuff that has been going on for some time now so they can show their disaffection at the voting booth next time.
    Remember that the government is more powerful than any of us. It’s been that way for a long time now and it’ll be a big task to change it.
    If and when Snowden gets back on U.S. soil, it should be one heck of a trial for him!
    Those fireworks will be more exciting than any we’ll be seeing this Fourth of July!

    Have fun and don’t get burned or blown up!

    Stephen Eddy
    Boston, MA.


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