No, we don't all know that. Because he didn't pursue his crusade using any of the procedures that would grant him that protection. Not even close.
True, but only because the previous NSA whistleblowers were all silenced and screwed over, too. What's the good of playing by the rules when the powers that be won't do the same?
Snowden, like other government workers (even contractors), took an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. By revealing the depth of the spying done on American citizens by our own government he upheld that oath. Whether he "went through proper channels" is bullshit and academic. He did the right thing and we should give him a ticker tape parade while tar-and-feathering the real traitors, the people who create the surveillance state and those who still support and defend it today.