Absolutley! The people have the right to know!
Veni. Vidi. Vici.
-Gaius Julius Caesar
The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Some of the conversations surrounding this amaze me, the reason being... We've had them all before.
First - We already knew the government was monitoring communications since 911. People who were surprised by this, AGAIN, were simply not paying attention.
This was a part of the old Patriot Act debates more than a decade ago.
Second - I am very close to someone with a security clearance. This person tells me NOTHING. And if this person did tell me anything at all of a secure nature, then this person would be breaking the law. Snowden broke the law. He is a criminal. PERIOD.
Third - Both Americans and Terrorists alike seemed to have forgotten that the Government monitors communications. For us Americans it has had zero effect. One thing you do NOT hear about is a situation where information was used to harm a normal American.
But for the Terrorists and other enemies of our Nation... the fact that they had forgotten was HUGE.
Now that Snowden has made a spectacle about it and made the news world wide, we no longer have this advantage towards our enemies. They are reminded and in some cases even have great detail as to the very method and type of snooping we perform.
So Yes, of course Snowden harmed our national security. There is no doubt about this.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
Sounds like you are real comfortable with the CIA up your arse. I do not want any "big brother" in my face, up my nose, around my house, in my phone, etc. The CIA is running armies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, etc., and operating drone programs, and its "support" administration (as opposed to Intelligence gathering) is ubiquitous. To me, it seems to be the largest problem in our Nation. It operates like a shadow gov't and even the President seems afraid to confront the agency. The NSA is just another CIA hub.
Truthfully, I was severely opposed to it under Bush. I am much more relaxed about it under Obama.
The subject is about Snowden and whether or not he is a Patriot, however. Not about my personal hypocrisy.
Snowden told us things we already knew. Maybe he pointed to more direct instances, but under Bush we already knew these things were occurring.
If I am not mistaken, there are 10 year old debate threads in this very forum criticizing Bush for the same type things Snowden has presented.
Snowden broke the law and in the process he also shined a spotlight for our enemies on exactly how we have been catching them so well.
Information our enemies already knew, just as the American people already knew it. Yet it is also information the American people seemed to have forgotten, just as our enemies seemed to had forgotten.
This world wide reminder has harmed our security.
Snowden is a criminal and must be prosecuted as such or we can never again prosecute any traitor that breaches their security clearance.
I certainly disagree. You are parroting the gov't line that everybody already knew about this, but that is not true. I remember my angst when the Patriot Act was passed, but it never was emphasized just how pervasive the eavesdropping on the USA public would be and that is the problem. Snowden has brought attention to our rights being violated on a grand scale, both the rights and the amount. Also, outright lying to Congressional committees questioning these activities. The lies are the flashing red lights that they all know that what they are doing is illegal. Beyond even the extreme activities legalized by the Patriot Act.
Now, under a Liberal President, Conservatives think its is a horrific abuse, and I think it is fine.
The only thing I am learning from this is that the entity in control seems to matter more than the actions, rules, laws or lack there of... to all of us.
Back to the actual topic though...
Whether you are only for this with Bush as the leader or you are only for this with Obama as the leader, what Snowden did was break the Law.
For the Leadership's opposition to call this man a patriot is on par with the far left Liberals calling illegal aliens patriots for breaking the law and doing something "they" agree with.
Just because a person stands up for something you personally agree with, it does not make them a Patriot. A criminal is still a criminal, even if you do agree with their crime.