Here in the United States if you break the law and place our citizens in danger, we reserve the right to prosecute you for doing so. We call it the "Rule of Law", and we think it's rather important. You will be afforded free defense counsel, access to any evidence you need to call in your defense, a presumption of innocence, and a bevy of privileges and protections that are the envy of accused criminals all over the world. Even then, if you are found strictly guilty of the law, but only in such a manner that the law is being applied ridiculously or abusively, the Jury retains the right of nullification.And if they do tell someone about it, they should be handed over for that embarassed government to crush?
Not at all. But the State is our actor that we authorize to make life and death decisions on our behalf in order to protect our persons, our property, and our rights. Government gets to do things like decide whether or not to go to war, whether or not to have a draft, how to go about combating criminal gangs, environmental policy, etc. In order to keep government from abusing its' power, we divide the power into three parts, and set each part against the other, so that faction may check faction, and each has incentive to do so. We do not authorize self-interested private actors to take upon themselves the right to make life / death decisions on behalf of the American people. Individual citizens do not have the right to toss overboard our system of government, any more than they have the right to overturn the joint position of all three branches of our government and place us in greater danger. As a citizen, Snowden had no right to do that to me or my family.Man, you are one of the hardcores. State over Citizens, no exceptions.
Wrong again. There are multiple whistleblowing venues for those who work with classified materials to use, and they can and do get used. I've used such a venue once myself. I have the right to demand access to my Commanding General any time I feel the situation demands it, and if I do not trust my chain of command, I have the right to demand access to the cleared Inspector General who works 5 minutes from my building, and if I neither trust the IG nor my chain of command I have the right to demand cleared legal counsel. If I believe that Intelligence Oversight Abuses (EO12333 violations) are taking place at work, then I have the ability to access my chain of command, the IG, or the investigative arms such as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. As an analyst, if my boss even tries to force me to change my conclusion, I can take him straight to his boss and the IG and have it made clear to him that he is in violation of Intelligence Community Directives (ICD's)There were zero legal measures for Snowden to whistleblow... By your definition no one can ever whistleblow a top secret program.
Okay, slow down for a minute and think about this.He could not tell anybody that didn't already know...If he's not allowed to tell anybody without the clearance, and everyone with the clearance already knows, he wouldn't be telling anybody new.
1. If that's true, then that means that the "no oversight, I could spy on whomever I wanted" narrative that he and others have tried to sell is complete bunk. It so happens that it is true, and that both Intelligence Oversight committees as well as the court system explicitly set up to handle these kinds of programs was aware of and overwatching its implementation.
2. Snowden did not even attempt any of these venues, nor did he have any way of knowing the extent of background knowledge held by the relevant committees. We didn't find out the depth of the read-in by the Congressional committees until after the Snowden revelations - and Snowden was in no position to know, as he did not brief the committees, nor work for the DNI or Office of the NSA director who did. So not only did Snowden have no idea whether or not taking his concerns (if he had them, which I am suspicious of, more in a second) up the chain would have produced results, he made no attempt to do so. A cursory inspection of the timeline involved demonstrates that this wasn't a case of "NSA worker realizes what he's doing is wrong, tries to get someone to notice, is frustrated in his attempts, and is forced against his will to boldly stand against the group". Snowden was talking to reporters before he ever started working for the NSA, he only worked there for a couple of months - which was apparently long enough to search for and copy/paste what he thought would grab the most news, and then he split. He joined with the intention of stealing classified data, and simply stole the most classified data he could get his hands on. That's not "whistleblowing". That's "espionage".
You always have a choice. Snowden made his. Those who are true whistleblowers who truly think that they are doing it for the good of others have a tendency A) go through the proper channels and B) be willing to go to trial for their beliefs. Snowden ran to China and then to Russia, both of whom, I would bet my life savings, pumped or are pumping him for all the information they can. Supposedly he's carrying four laptops onto which he's downloaded who-knows-what. Gosh, if all he's put out is the power point presentation identifying and explaining PRISM, and he's only doing this because he wants to expose that one particular program because he wants it public because he thinks it's evil...... why does he four laptops full of crap? If he's so worried only about the civil liberties of Verizon customers in the good ole US of A, why is he outing American collection on the Chinese? It's because PRISM was a lucky find, not his target.That means it was impossible to whistleblow through legal channels. There was nothing he could've said that would've made them change their minds or cancel the program, so he had no other choice.