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Edward Snowden:  NSA whistleblower or a traitor to his country?  High School dropout.  Army reject* (my opinion).  Computer geek earning $200,000 per year.

In my book, many of these perpetual computer adolescents are the modern version of Wild West gun thugs; pretty much good at only one thing because that is all they put their minds to.  Modern day Billy-the-Kids.  Good at pulling the trigger.  We like to romanticize them.  Despite my obvious irritation relative to people like Mr. Snowden, I haven’t formed a final opinion about his ulterior motives.

Did the public need to know that there are a bunch of 1s and 0s out there that can tell anyone who is really bent on knowing it almost anything about us?  I think I knew this.  You probably did, too.

Yes, there is a difference between knowing and KNOWING.  Anyone who has walked in on mom and dad knows that.  It is possible that in the long run we’ll thank Mr. Snowden for his service and we, indeed, will call him a hero and courageous.  Maybe I should be more upset that the government is data mining to the extent they are – did I already wrestle with this possibility when I created a Facebook account and downloaded my first iPhone app – but what really has me ticked off right now is that my government put this information in the hands of a guy like Mr. Snowden.  And then let him run off to China. CHINA.  Why, oh why, Mr. Snowden, did you run to China?  Clearly, you have not watched enough reruns of 24.  Or did you run there for another reason?

Seriously, if you can’t keep tabs on the people whom you’ve given top security clearance to, should we trust you, Government, with our personal information?  That is a very valid question, Mr. and Mrs. (or Miss) Anyone Listening.  Also, for the record, when our military and national security interests are leaked to the world, I really would prefer that the leaker be more…..shall we say, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates and a lot less George Castanza.  I’m just sayin’.

Here is the NSA chief making his case for the information to be gathered.  It is worth a listen.

*I say “my opinion” because this guy summarized his very brief military career into this quote:  “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone,” he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.”  Source:  The Guardian

When did he come to that conclusion?  Before or after he broke his legs and was discharged?  And despite my misgivings about the war in Iraq, I have a hard time visualizing the “trainers” as high-fiving the idea of “killing Arabs”.  But nice sound bite to give to those that already hate us, Mr. Snowden.