What offends me about Manning and Snowden is they knew EXACTLY who they were going to work for, swore oaths to keep their mouths shut, and then didn't.
Working for 20 years in network security, I don't share the pop media belief that they 'revealed' big things. No, they got the popular media to pay attention to something that any educated person knew was going on, and had been going on for a long time. But they had to lie, steal, and break oaths to do that, and my sympathy for their plight is all that it should be.
The Patriot Act was wrong all along, and anybody smarter than a chimp knew exactly what intelligence agencies would do with it ... the same thing NSA, GCHQ and their counterparts around the world ALWAYS do: seek every gram of data they can get, because that's their job.
It's our job, and our elected representatives' job, to prioritize liberty over security ... and we failed miserably at that post-9/11. Spooks do what spooks do, be sneaky SOB's ... it's the electorate and Congress that failed, miserably, but we find it too hard to look in the mirror and be accountable, so we blame spooks ... for doing exactly what we hire spooks to do. Convenient, but not a path to progress.