However, I take issues with both Manning and Snowden.
Manning's goal was NOT to release information because he opposed what was going on. His reason was because he was mad at the US because he was gay and was about to be booted out. With that said, the information that he release was about some of our illegal doings. As such, he should not be punished for this, but, he is no hero.
Snowden is a whole other creature from these two. He worked on a number of NSA systems. He was aware of what was going on. Cool. I worked on some of these, BUT, it was all low-level stuff, not the high levels that he had. I was aware that it was POSSIBLE to do the things that we have done. When he spoke about the spying on Americans, I was actually good with that. NSA had congressional oversight that was removed by the GOP back in 2005. I was against that because I knew that they did that so that their friends could go to work and do much more than what they were allowed to. That is why Congressman Udall kept hinting at what was going on.
BUT, when he told how NSA spies on the outside world, he became a traitor. America set up NSA to spy on what other nations, terrorists and foreign elements do. We need to know what is going on out there. It is the same thing that ALL NATIONS DO. Yes, EVERY NATION HAS THIS GOING ON. Now, NSA has greater capabilities because we have top ppl in there. In addition, we have worked with many nations to not only spy for us, but also to give them the information. Everyone that we work with, which includes all of the west, KNOWS what we are up to. In addition, we, and UK, have tought others how to do this counting on sharing of information. That is why AQ has not been successful in attacking the west for over 10 years. France happened because all of these nations hold back from spying everywhere, and once terrorists became aware of how we do things, then they could evaded the net. All they had to do was simply avoid certain comm channels that went between nations. By doing that, the evaded the net.
France's attack success can be blamed partially on Snowden. He made it possible for those terrorists to evade the net. In fact, a big reason why so many are going from Europe to ISIS is because ISIS now knows how to avoid detection and instead focuses their recruiting efforts throughout europe and other locations in which they are not going to be interrupted.
How many of you have kids? Do you have a 15-16 y.o. in which the girls want to go marry a terrorists and 'fight for freedom'? Of course, when those girls marry, they are not just property, but ISIS killed a number of them, and their infant kids, so that they were not a burden when they moved from one location to another.
Of course, your boy was not murdered. Just put on the front line with little to no training and told to take on western trained troops. IOW, they were cannon fodder.
Sorry, but this is not what I would want for my kids. And sadly, Snowden makes it possible.