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Gender: Male
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 12,564

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I think Snowden is more of a well-intentioned, juvenile fuck-up than anything else.

I don't think his intentions were to betray his country. You can damage your country and society terribly without the necessary mental intentions for betrayal. That's what Snowden did. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are arguably similar.

I think there is an emotional hang-up that causes people to mis-categorize Snowden as either hero or traitor. He thought he was being a hero, and he wasn't. He didn't think he was damaging his country and society like a traitor would, but he did.

Put aside the terms traitor and hero, and all you really have is "well intentioned fuck-up" or "well-intentioned doer of good." To decide between those two, you have to be objective and ask if anyone benefited from what he did. I would argue that there hasn't been a single known objective, tangible benefit from what Snowden did. Moreover, there has also been no harm shown to have been caused by the activities he exposed.

On the other hand, the United States has suffered a great deal politically and diplomatically. The company Snowden worked for and the people he worked with suffered. He reduced net trust throughout the world. He cost a lot of people jobs and ruined careers. Also, by exposing what he exposed, by keeping people in a constant state of suspense about what he might expose next, and by fleeing to American adversaries, Snowden did heavy damage to the world's safety and security from violence and oppression.

Just a fuck-up. No more a legitimate moral agent than the flu.

Actually I'm on that list.

Arguably, the point being made by the OP of that thread was correct. That's why I recommended it. Look at this thread and the posts on it if you want something else to check out. I've been here a long damned time, and I have never seen such a low display of mob mentality on this site. Hopefully this will be a chance for some folks to look in the mirror.
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