Snowden was a 'glitch' in a system trying desperately to scale up to its global surveilance potential knowing that Russia and China both were soon to be in the info-wars race; they believe that one/other/both will be the opponent in the next 'big' conflagration (prob China).
I suspect that they (???) truely believe the USA will be severely dis-advantaged, competitively, for badly-needed resources in the years to come.
"They" represent the will of our Establishment and as wrong as they have been about everything else, I count on them being wrong on this as well.
The Black-Swan, the Blow-back, the counter-intuitive solution waiting in some mind's eye. We sorely lack good, visionary, leadership. What we have is cautionary CYA piss-poor managers
who see everything as a control issue.
Snowden, at worst, is a refreshing wind to tumble this house of cards; at best, hs is the spririt of "doing the right thing" that should make Americans proud.