Whistleblowing and information leaks have been spearheading news headlines recently. Among the highest profile cases in America we've had Bradley Manning and, most recently, Edward Snowden. Many have jumped on the character assassination wagon, calling them traitors, cowards, and a lot of other things, even calling for their heads!, all of which tends to distract from the more pressing issue: the information leaked, what it tells us about the sources that were trying to keep it secret, and the implications going forward.
Directly or indirectly, both men did work for the government, so a case could potentially be made that they betrayed our government. Though I disagree with that position, I'm willing to grant it for the sake of argument. What they did not betray, however, is their country. They saw that the government was violating human rights, the constitution and the principles upon we always claim our nation was founded, and they decided to stand up to power so that we could rescue our country back from the forces that want to corrupt it for their own purposes. These men are American and moral heroes. Few have the courage to stand up and risk so much when it would be so much easier to just stay silent and look the other way, and now, in their time of need, we ought to stand by them and support them.
Yes, the information they revealed is shocking and damaging to our reputation, no doubt, but our reputation ought to be based who we are, not on what we hide. And claims regarding national security, at least in these two cases, have been completely fabricated or at least blown way out of proportion. Unlike the previous administration, which actually outed individual secret agents and put their lives at real risk (all in the name of politics, I might add), Manning and Snowden have leaked information about highly questionable programs and practices that have been institutionalized without having gone through the proper checks and balances (you know, pesky little things like the Constitution and such)...
But of course, how you feel about and refer to these folks depends on where you're coming from, as the hilarious Samantha Bee beautifully and succinctly shows:
And just to give you a taste of the backward twilight zone world we seem to be living in, here's an example of those in (financial) power trying to silence those who report on their corruption by trying to turn the law on them! (and apparently without noticing the irony and contradiction):
Ok, this is going to sound horrible, so be warned, but was it deliberate that the public relations spokesperson sort of looks like a piggy, to make it look like they sympathize with the plight of animals, or was it just an unfortunate and ironic coincidence?