As a Libertarian, I hate the government poking around in my personal business. Not that my personal business is exciting; it's not. But, that isn't really the point. I believe in Henry David Thoreau's sentiment "that government is best which governs least"(Civil Disobedience). So, from this position, I thank Snowden for confirming what I already believed - we are being watched on every level. Not only can I get a ticket for an illegal turn on red (which I did), they now can see that sometimes I send funny quotes to my various Fb friends. Fortunately, I am not of any great interest; I post about education, children, and post pictures of trees and dirt. So, the person assigned to me has a dreadfully boring job. But, I appreciate knowing that my government is doing it. I appreciate that someone stood and up and said "HEY! LOOK!" So, for that small part, I could support Snowden.
But, then I think to myself...wow, my kids came home safe from school today. I was able to ride the train into NYC and didn't have to stop in an ER first to find my other leg...see, those NSA documents aren't looking for ME, they are looking for bombers, terrorists, people out to kill innocent people. And, for every single day that I am safe, I am thankful that someone is keeping an eye on it all. When I was in college, I was a life guard. I was responsible to watch the whole pool. It didn't matter that Suzy would never ever dunk another kid or drown; I still had to watch her to make sure that no one dunked her. If she would have been dunked and drowned as a result, I would have been responsible. So, you can't have it both ways. You can either watch and know or not watch, not know, and still be responsible. As a Mom, I want someone watching.
The biggest problem I have with Snowden is how he did what he did. Yes, I understand that he felt like he had limited options. Yes, I think our government is capable of horrible things (hellllllo G-Bay). But, if you are so convicted, you will find a way to blow a whistle while you are on the field. Running to England, Hong Kong, outer Bolivia? It shows me that you are a coward. I can not believe Geraldo wouldn't have snapped up the story. CNN? Fox? No one? Really, running away makes it look like you are in it for other reasons. THEN you add to the mix that the NSA whistle blow wasn't the only data gift. You have given the gift of our intelligence, our military outposts, etc. You have threatened the lives of people willing to serve this country even if they don't agree with the mission. Those are innocent people. Those aren't government overlords; they are soldiers now compromised.
The End of the Day
At the end of the day, I am still dumbfounded. I believe the government's only job is to protect the civil liberties of its people, but what if the only way to protect those liberties is to stomp upon them?
I simply don't have an answer.