Imagine that you have just learned that your 13 year old daughter is pregnant. The father is a 21 year old out of work surfer. When you take your daughter to see the doctor in the course of the exam the doctor discovers a cancerous tumor. The doctor tells you that this particular tumor would have remained undiscovered and your daughter would probably have died had he not caught it. The doctor puts her through treatment and she lives.
Would you thank the 21 year old for making your daughter pregnant? Would you excuse him from any responsibility for his actions? I wouldn't.
This is the situation we find ourselves in with Edward Snowden. He is a traitor, he violated the law, and has done damage to the nation. Yet, on the other hand he may have revealed quite a bit about our intelligence community. Does that absolve him from his responsibility? No, it doesn't.
How has he damaged the nation? There is a key component in the secrecy arena that is very important, that is, doubt. The enemy may guess what they think you are doing, but there is always that element of doubt. Especially when it comes to how you are doing it. Snowden removed that doubt. It goes deeper than that, but that is enough. Let's change direction to the NSA.
It is very concerning that the premier intelligence gathering agency in the world was penetrated by a low level contractor. To realize that although the use of external devices are strictly prohibited, there were no controls to insure this. In fact, it boggles my mind. Even a rookie in security could establish controls on this type of activity.
Although it is impossible for the NSA to gather micro data on every phone call, text message, or data transfer, there are other issues that have come to light. If it is true that the NSA violated the rules of gathering data on U.S. Citizens, then we have an additional failure of the Agency. It is too early to create a trail of responsibility and complicity, regardless of the findings this must be addressed in very certain terms.
Thanks Ed for exposing some crucial failures of the system, and possible other illegal activity. I will say a prayer for you after you are convicted of TREASON.