I have several friends who have a very different view, and think this guy is more of a Philip Agee, someone who has changed sides, and should be considered at worst a traitor and at best a self-righteous little jerk.... Leaving the country is not what a pure act of civil disobedience would entail. In addition, I find his choice of refuge, Hong Kong, a bit odd. It looks more like a defection than civil disobedience. It is possible that this guy will turn out to be more Guy Burgess than Daniel Ellsberg.I don't see why knowing exactly what you're doing elevates you over the mixed-up goofball. How do we decide which of these characters to smile upon and which to contemn?
June 10, 2013
"Manning's act was that of a goofball anarchist. Snowden's, by contrast, seems to have been one of civil disobedience."
"That is, he seems to have known exactly what he was doing. Snowden does seem to have some elements of Manning, a mixed-up kid, but on balance seems to me to be more of an Ellsberg -- that is, a disillusioned insider who was appalled by what he saw and made a choice to disclose the existence of certain government programs," writes Thomas E. Ricks at Foreign Policy.