The author of this piece in the Atlantic says: Snowden and Manning don’t understand what they were leaking. He goes on to say:
What troubles me about them is not that they broke the oaths they swore when they took their classified government jobs, the thing that makes them liable to prosecution. Government finds all kinds of dubious reasons to keep secrets, sometimes nefarious reasons, and conscience can force one to break a promise. My problem is with the indiscriminate nature of their leaks.
These are young people at war with the concept of secrecy itself, which is just foolish. There are many legitimate reasons for governments to keep secrets, among them the need to preserve the element of surprise in military operations or criminal investigations, to permit leaders and diplomats to bargain candidly, and to protect the identities of those we ask to perform dangerous and difficult missions.
In other words, they had good reasons.
First off, I’m going to unlump Manning from Snowden. I didn’t really look into what Manning did. But Snowden? He didn’t have good reason? He didn’t expose an abuse of government power?! Mr. Bowden, what is more of an abuse of government power than the NSA spying on all of us…all the time? Hmm. Yeah…I don’t hear anything.
Image from fredrik linge via flickr