I just want to make sure I have the right series of events here, from the public perspective:
1. A previous elected official and congress enact some overreaching laws in response to a terrorist attack
2. A politician who makes a bunch of promises against these programs is elected the new President
3. The now-elected politician strengthens and enforces those programs rather than shuttering them
4. There is some kind of a court decision but it is sealed/secret. FOIA requests are made by EFF.
5. A whistle blower comes forward and exposes the illegal activities to the public because his bosses and the elected official have continued said operations. Since his bosses are the Executive Branch and responsible for enforcing the law, he has nobody to report his findings to other than the public.
6. The elected official and members of congress declare said whistle blower a traitor for exposing their methods.
7. It is revealed that the court had previously, as in years ago, ruled that the activities reported on by the whistle blower are illegal. Meaning the whistle blower is not just reporting the activities, but he is reporting that the President of the United States, the heads of major departments, the Attorney General, and a bunch of other People In Power have been knowingly breaking the law to empower the government. Not only, in fact, are they doing something that the court already ruled is illegal, but they sealed the court's decision so that the public would not know about it.
Did I miss anything?
8. Snowden is probably still fucked.