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The government of the United States of America has a crucial job: protecting the citizens and their rights. Violating rules strictly set in the Constitution is considered illegal and clearly, unconstitutional. Edward Snowden, young genius, was working for the CIA when he got himself into a lot of trouble. Snowden stole classified information attempting to expose United States alliances across the world such as the NSA. This association was established to protect the U.S. and it’s citizens; they have the ability to tap into private information but only for extreme issues. Snowden thought he was doing what was right by exposing this association, however, everything the NSA does is considered constitutional. By doing this and aiding United States adversaries, Snowden technically created the exact definition of treason . Regardless of whether or not some of Snowden’s disclosures had any merit, he betrayed the United States and became a traitor, ultimately leaving his country in danger.
By betraying the organizations that are trying to protect Americans with invalid assumptions, Snowden put all of his fellow citizens in danger. Marc Thiessen from the Washington Post states that, “The exposure of the PRISM program under which the NSA monitors foreign terrorists on the Internet, as well as the leak of a top-secret court order requiring Verizon to share calling data with the government, are incredibly damaging to national security. These leaks give terrorists information they did not have about our collection activities,” (Theissen). Edward Snowden spread vital information about the US government. Foreign terrorists now know they can be monitored in the United States which ultimately will lead them to strategize a new way to avoid being heard and watched. Since Snowden leaked this information, the job of the government to protect its citizens has gotten much harder, leaving citizens in more danger.
Edward Snowden formed his own opinion against the NSA, declaring that what they did was unconstitutional because people have the right to privacy. However, what Snowden failed to understand is that the government has access to this vital information simply for the protection of the people; this is constitutional. The NSA had unknown access to phone bills for many different carriers, which may seem unconstitutional as a violation of privacy, but is constitutional because they are only used in cases of emergency to protect the country. The government is not required to tell the people everything, that is how the country can get put at risk. There were secret court cases which allowed the NSA to have access to phone bills and more, but if the people knew this, there may be rebellion because of the thought that the government could be spying. It is simply human nature that we think everything that is being done is to negate us. Snowden learned of what the NSA was doing and leaked crucial information trying to show fellow citizens that the government wasn’t telling us everything. Snowden’s act of leaking this information is considered a violation to the third amendment: right to privacy. Although he thought he was exposing the government’s flaws, he ultimately was doing the wrong thing himself and proving the government’s security. Since this leakage, citizens of the United States have a false understanding of how the government is protecting its people, ultimately establishing Snowden as a traitor by unconstitutionally betraying his own country.
Some consider Snowden a hero or a whistleblower: a person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity (thefreedictionary.com). While initially this could seem true, the main reason Snowden cannot be seen as a whistleblower is the careless ways in which he collected and leaked information. Had Snowden been a whistleblower interested in protecting the American constitution, he would have carefully collected information documenting NSA overreach in spying on Americans. Only that would have been given to the journalists and newspapers Snowden contacted. What he did instead was collect a massive amount of information carelessly. What he failed to realize while stealing this information and sending it to foreign countries was that most of these documents contained information on what the NSA was doing right; collecting intelligence on legitimate foreign targets, not spying on Americans whatsoever. What the NSA was doing was lawful, constitutional and absolutely vital to protecting the country (Thiessen). Also considerably backing up this argument is his flight to Hong Kong and then Moscow immediately following this incident. His immediate escape to protect himself showed he wasn’t willing to suffer the consequences for his actions, or even accept that what he did was not correct. Even if what he did was the right thing for protecting the citizens but he still got charged, he would’ve been willing to take the punishment and be deemed a hero. Instead, he immediately fled the scene, calling into question how much he believed in his cause; the final action declaring him a traitor.
By stealing information and systematically exposing the US government to the world, Edward Snowden becomes a traitor by treason. He not only carelessly collected information and put his country in danger, but he did this while thinking everything he was doing was correct. Snowden was unable to accept his mistakes; he put his fellow citizens in danger and didn’t take any punishment for it. Leaving the United States to protect himself avoid many charges shows Snowden’s incapability to understand his huge mistake. Yes, he thought he was doing the right thing, but he did not look enough into the true history and laws before exposing vital information on the United States. Following this invalid accusation and huge exposure from this traitor, the US government has dangerously crucial information in the hands of almost everyone and now has a lot of work to do to be fully protected once again.
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