In case anyone is wondering where I come down on things like Bradley Manning and this guy Snowden: our government is evil. I vote in every election, I voted for President Obama twice, I do not think he is, as an individual, an evil man... but our government is evil. Every day it implements policies that hurt people, for no reason except to expedite certain political purposes (getting votes, obtaining further patronage from wealthy patrons, etc). And sometimes, the motivations behind these policies, especially the most secret ones, are more than simple self serving greed... they are more grandly , malevolently evil things, having to do with learning how to better control individual human beings and groups of human beings. This is evil, pure and simple.
There is an endless list of evil our government enacts every day, from voting to let needy people starve to transferring money to top secret projects designed to kill, harm, or coerce.
Patriotism is at best gullible stupidity, at worst, a knowing, cunning mask for corruption and manipulation.
Governments should not be allowed to have secrets from those they govern. They simply should not. Arguments that certain functions of government require secrecy are foolish. Any function of government that requires secrecy is pernicious and unnecessary. If they can't tell us about it, they shouldn't be doing it.
Therefore, to my mind, anyone who reveals government secrets to the press and to the public is performing a valuable service -- a far more valuable service than that performed by those who classify anything and everything on the grounds that if the people being governed were to find out about it, they might not like it. They might tell them to stop.
The power to arrest, to try, and to imprison has been so extensively abused in our country... in every country I am aware of, but especially in our country... that I'm starting to think our government simply should not be allowed to do it any more. We should have a Constitutional amendment that states that our police may only arrest and our courts may only try matters that have been brought by individual citizens, never by groups and especially never by the government. The government should never be a party to a criminal case, unless it is as a defendant.
Whistleblowers should be lauded, not prosecuted.