UmeNow

Is Edward Snowden a Patriot or Villian?

Cybersecurity, NSA surveillance, big data, Prism, Hong Kong, President Obama, narcissist, trust, betrayal, extradition, criminal investigation, outrage, indifference and fear. The link to all this is Edward Snowden a seemingly normal twenty-nine-year-old American who has decided to break the law and send a jolt throughout the United States and the entire world by exposing to the British publication, The Guardian, that most communication by American citizens is being collected without their consent, with millions of telephone calls and emails stored by the government no matter how innocent or loyal they may be to their country.

Listening to Snowden during an interview available to anyone on YouTube, the questions that jump out in my mind are: Does he appear authentic? Do his motives ring true? Is he a patriot or a villian?

John Cassidy, a staff writer with The New Yorker since 1995, compares Snowden to Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who released the Pentagon Papers, and Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who revealed the existence of Israel’s weapons program.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Toobin, another prominent staff writer at The New Yorker and also a CNN contributor, has denounced Snowden as a narcissist.

Who is right?

I am open to being proven wrong. But as I listen to Snowden and watch his body language and experience his tone of voice, I see a genuine geek with a conscience. I also see someone who is brave. I don't see a self-centered, egotistical, fame seeking psychopath or narcissist.