Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor? For awhile plenty of people were asking themselves this question, but Snowden helped answer it for the people who still weren't sure. Snowden has admitted to being a traitor — and a naïve one at that.
Ever since Snowden left his job as a federal contractor supporting the National Security Agency (NSA) and exposed national secrets, he has been hailed and vilified. He stated, initially, that he left the NSA because he was appalled with the level of spying on American people. That made him a hero to many people and a traitor to others.
Snowden answered the hero or traitor question during an interview with the South China Morning Post. He admitted that he sought a job with the NSA in order to collect information about the United States'surveillance activities. This contradicts the initial indications that he became disillusioned with U.S. programs after working for the NSA. Instead, it indicates that Snowden had a plan from the beginning to collect information on U.S. surveillance and to expose that information to the world.
Snowden is not a hero but a traitor. The initial reports of him being a whistleblower have been falsified by his recent interview. Not only did he admit to planning the break-in, he also admitted to the preconceived notion of releasing the information. This self-admission defines the acts of a traitor and not those of a concerned citizen.
Not only is Snowden a traitor but he is also a very naïve traitor. The idea that the U.S. is the only nation to perform internal and external intelligence activities is naïve. China performs surveillance and intelligence gathering activities formally as well as through commercial activities. China has also been identified as having dedicated hackers, with dedicated hours, working for the government.
Russia also performs internal and external intelligence activities. Internally, Russia uses the Federal Security Service while external activities fall under the External Intelligence Service. Hackers from Russia are also known to be among the best in the world. Russian intelligence may not need to rely on manipulated hardware, since they can count on astute hackers to get the information formally or informally.
Snowden’s decision to leave Hawaii for a meeting in Hong Kong is a problem for U.S. intelligence agencies. His alleged departure for Russia adds more problems for the U.S.. Since Snowden has asked for asylum in Ecuador, he has spent time in two of America’s “allies” with information on U.S. intelligence-gathering activities. He has provided information to them about U.S. activities with no concern nor interest about their activities against the country he claimed to be his own. Is there really any question about what his motives are?