Perhaps Mr. Snowden is in the process of learning what both President Obama and Joe Biden learned as they moved from the position of a candidate to the top two executives in our government.
When you think you know something based on only a few of the facts and realities of the situation, you are free to speak and act more freely & criticize others in leadership with impunity because you do not know the detailed reality of the situation. If something goes wrong, there are myriad things that you can use as an excuse because you “didn’t know” this or that. Unfortunately, we have seen this lack of understanding or knowledge excuse played out way too much in recent weeks.
Both President Obama and Vice President Biden clearly have learned, at least part of, this lesson or so many of their campaign points would not have fallen by the wayside, and they would have actually changed the policies of their hated predecessor instead of either continuing them or expanding them.
People like Mr. Snowden fall into the same category. It is what they think they know that becomes our problem. They become either enamored with the power that the inside knowledge that they gain brings to them, and they try to ride the wave of popularity (both notoriety and infamy) and power they can gain from its disclosure, or they believe that they know all the rest of the underlying facts. As such, they come to the mistaken moral belief that they are fully capable of making some actionable determination for the rest of the country as to whether or not this thing or process should exist. They then proceed forward under their own determinations, completely oblivious to the larger consequences of their actions because, once again, they are not aware, or did not know, of the consequences of their actions because they really never did know all of the stories.
People like Mr. Snowden and many others before him often appear driven simply by their ideology, but perhaps this is too simple of an explanation. Ideology may be part of their story, but much more is afoot. This came to light in discussion with a conservative friend who commented that it was always liberals who do this and betray the country. He said they believe this is right because the philosophy drives them that anything is OK that carries their personal agenda and ideology. He also stated that conservatives couldn’t do this because values and principles drive them. It became clear that ideology is not a major part of the mechanism at work here.
Perhaps soon, Mr. Snowden will join the ranks of our president and vice president and learn there is much more to the story than he first knew, and he will come to regret his decision. It is more likely that his ego will grow so large, fed by the power of the megawatt international media spotlight he has gained and he will become permanently blinded. He may not even have the opportunity as he is likely now a target for kidnap and exploitation from the same bad actors that these programs—it was argued—must exist to protect us from. Regardless, the damage to our national security, our privacy, our confidence in our government, our own American experience, and to Mr. Snowden’s life is done.
Behold the Arrogance of Man!