Edward Snowden is a martyr. I have recently learned that misdeeds of government officials are nearly impossible to expose. I learned this by reading Edward Snowden’s book “Permanent Record.”
It was shocking. I was already familiar with Snowden’s story; that he had exposed the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program to collect nearly all communications by Americans, irrespective of whether these Americans were suspected of any wrongdoing and doing so without a specific court order.
This practice must have been known by many senior government officials since two presidents lied about this to the American people, George W Bush, and Barack Obama. James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence, even lied about it under oath to a congressional committee.
Edward Snowden released information that exposed the lie. I had always assumed that similar “whistleblowers” could be relied on to do the same whenever there was serious malfeasance by government officials.
But what shocked me after reading Snowden’s book was his outlining, in great detail, the extreme difficulty in getting information out to the public about such malfeasance.
As a result, I now fear there is much more that the public does not know about such malfeasance. We need to encourage and support whistle blowers like Snowden, not threaten them with life in prison.