28 June 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #54

Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor?  He says that he's neither, and it's also possible, given the complexity of the human psyche, that he fits into both categories.  I haven't made up my mind about him (and I don't know that I ever can without knowing his motives), but I'll grant that I have a hard time getting indignant toward him, for the following reasons: He hasn't sold secrets to a hostile foreign power, but merely exposed them in a hostile foreign publication; It's not true that he unwittingly betrayed his depravity by fleeing to a part of mainland China, because Hong Kong retains the political and legal system of its British-Crown-Colony era; He demonstrated great courage in authorizing two newspapers to reveal his identity—I still don't know why he did it, unless it was to prepare his loved ones for the trials to come; He has sacrificed his highly lucrative career as a computer programmer, and condemned himself to a life in exile from his native land; and, That the detestable organization "WikiLeaks" has been acting on his behalf, and that he seeks asylum in polities that (save Switzerland) are unfriendly to the USA, does not prove that he is guilty of treason. (A man whose own country has revoked his passport and indicted him for high crimes needs what friends he can get; moreover, nearly all the states of the world that lack treaties of extradition with the USA are either unfriendly ones or "developing" ones in which no outsiders really want to live.)
I don't have a conclusion here, but that's why this is a miscellaneous musing rather than an uncommon commentary.