Snowden is no hero
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The Outline Topic: Editorial Paper
Thesis: Edward Snowden is no hero because he is a traitor and a coward whose irresponsible actions has put the security of this nation in danger. I.He has broken the law
A.Betrayed his country by breaking an oath sworn before taking the job as a spy. B.Opted to run to China and disclose highly classified information which could cause damage to U.S national security. II.N.S.A eavesdropping on innocent Americans is a necessary evil. A.Recent Boston attacks suggests threats could come from the least suspected source and necessary precautions should be taken. B. It’s fair to compromise a little bit of privacy for the greater good of our safety. III.Edward Snowden’s true motives for the leaks are questionable. A.Revealed details of our spying activities on China.
B.Leaked details of a spying operation on Russia which totally diverts from the main problem of the N.S.A eavesdropping on America. IV.Conclusion.
Many people including you john Cassidy believe what Edward Snowden has done is a great act of heroism. According to your editorial on Edward Snowden, you see him as a hero and a man with conscience who has done American’s a great favor by leaking highly classified documents of the N.S.A which you think the public had the right to know about. You think these leaks would have no negative impact on the US national security. You said that “in revealing the colossal scale of the U.S. government’s eavesdropping on Americans and other people around the world, he has performed a great public service that outweighs any breach of trust he may have committed.” Well I think you are wrong. Let me first remind you that before Edward Snowden took the job as a spy for the N.S.A, he swore an oath to protect and never share any information which he gets access to with people who are not authorized to see them. If he had concerns over anything he came across and felt the public needed to know, he could have taken it to congress and the situation dealt with openly. He didn’t do that but rather opted to run to China and let the world know about all these secrets. Technically speaking he has not committed treason since he has not willingly helped and comforted a foe affirmed to be at war with the United States.
However, he has still broken the law by stealing classified defense documents which belong to the government and openly revealed information which was meant to be kept private. He is a traitor and should be extradited and punished to the full extent of the laws he has broken. I partially agree with what you said that, “they (leaks) didn’t reveal anything about the algorithms that the N.S.A uses, the groups or individuals that the agency targets, or the Identities of U.S agents.” He has so far released information of an N.S.A program the PRISM which monitors and intercepts phone calls and emails in the United States and lots of countries around the world. This is done without the knowledge of Americans and might not seem right but I think this it’s better not to keep the public aware of these actions and then secretly deal with any detected threats to our nation. Even if it means innocent people with clean records are eavesdropped. We have to bear with them and let the N.S.A do everything it can to help keep this country safe. With what happened in Boston just two months ago, you just never know and cannot trust that there is no threat within the U.S. Both brothers responsible for the attacks had U.S citizenship and lived in this country for over seven years with clean records.
When news broke out that the eldest brother of the two responsible for the bombings was under the radar of the FBI and some of his phone calls had been briefly monitored people were quite disappointed and asked the question, why wasn’t more done? Well I heard nobody complaining about the privacy of this bomber being invaded and why his phone calls were monitored and some even recorded? Nobody complained at all. It’s very clear we cannot have it both ways. We want reliable protection and we just have to compromise. Yes it is true that news of our phone calls being monitored would not be a surprise to really organized Taliban organizations and terrorists groups who already send messages amongst themselves in various means difficult for our systems to track, but now they would operate in the comfort of knowing that the very people they attack are fighting for their privacy which in some way is fighting for theirs (terrorists) as well since this program is universal. I think this is a thought to be considered. The real motive behind Snowden’s leaks is very questionable.
From the interview he had with Glenn Greenwald a columnist from the guardian newspaper he said “I don’t want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded” and “I do not want to live in a society that does these sort of things.” Now first of all these statements are undermined by the fact that he ran to China, a well-known communist country where there is no free speech. Snowden is no hero. At a time where both the Chinese and the Americans are in conflicts over cyber theft of technological ideas, he goes to the Chinese and gives them proof of how we spy and hack their major networking companies and we Americans call him hero? He is no hero. Also in the same interview with Greenwald he pointed out that he really checked the documents and leaked those of public interests and that his main target was not to harm anyone. Initially that might have been true but his recent leaks as reported by MacAskill, Davies, Hopkins, Borger and Ball in a recent article of the Guardian reveals details of how U.S spies stationed in the U.K discreetly tapped up inter communications of former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a summit in London. I don’t see how this information is of interest to the American public and why this information is not meant to harm the U.S.
Is He trying to say we should trust everybody and quit spying? Why did he become a spy in the first place if he thinks it is not right? We really don’t know everything in his possession but what we do know is he can really cause damage and we should be really scared because we don’t know how far he is going to take this. My final problem is that you put Snowden in the same category as Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. Both Ellsberg and Manning broke the law, knew what they had done was against the law, and were ready to face the consequences of their actions. These are true heroes. You cannot hail someone who causes such a mess and run away seeking asylum in Ecuador a hero. A person like this is a coward. Edward Snowden is no hero and should willingly come back and face the results of his actions.