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Edward Snowden Monday September 9, 2013

Snowden - Hero or Traitor

A friend of mine was visiting Nairobi, Kenya at the time that massive fire broke out at the Nairobi Airport. She and I are always teasing each other, I was going to send her a text saying something like "What's the matter? You didn't like the Airport?" But thanks to the Edward Snowden revelations, I realized that sending a message like that could put both my friend and I on some government watch list, or worse.

I think Edward Snowden is guilty of treason and should be tried for that crime. But on a personal level I think Snowden told us all how much big brother is watching and we have to be careful with our words.

Just like we learned to say "Hello, Jack" instead of "Hi Jack" at an airport or on a plane, we now have to consider everything we say on a telephone, or send in a text message or email, because someone is listening in. And even benign comments or silly jokes could get us in trouble.

So you might wonder why I think Edward Snowden is a traitor rather than a hero.

When someone blows a whistle on wrongs committed by their employer, I call that person a hero and believe they deserve legal protection. But if someone steals the secrets of my country, that person is a spy and should be treated as one. If one of our OWN citizens steals those same secrets, he should be tried for espionage and treason.

I believe the war on terrorism can't be won if our country's counter-terrorism plans and tactics are revealed by someone like Edward Snowden - who specifically took a job that gave him access to highly confidential state secrets.

Imagine if someone had revealed to the world that the Allies had broken the Nazi Enigma Code, and that the Allies could decipher German communications without Germany knowing. Wouldn't that person, if he was British or American or Canadian, be considered a traitor?

Or if someone had released the details of the D-Day Invasion. Wouldn't that person, if he was British or American or Canadian, be considered a traitor?

War cannot be fought effectively without secrets, and the war on terrorism is no different.

So thank you Edward Snowden for teaching me to keep my mind alert and my words precise. And I hope you spend the rest of your life in jail for doing so.