Yeah, tell me why, if all that information was so top secret, that Booz Allen Hamilton, a federal contractor with 12,000 employees, had access to it? How do you keep secrets with that many people privy to the information?
Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States defines treason thusly:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Neither Bradley Manning nor Edward Snowdon levied war against the U.S. nor did they adhere to Enemies of the US, giving Aid and Comfort in what they did. I’m sure they broke the law in doing what they did but I think the U.S. is or will be stronger for their efforts. Are they heroes? I won’t use that strong of a word but they are definitely not traitors to their country.
So you say, “I have nothing to hide so why should I care if the government listens to my phone calls?” Maybe you have more to hide than you think. Harvey Silvergate, a noted civil liberties attorney, asserts that everyone commits three felonies a day and I tend to believe this is more fact than hype.
The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets.
And you wonder why the U.S, has the highest incarceration rate in the world? Our government watches us like a hawk, recording information about every phone call we make and then hires over-zealous prosecutors who have a bloated penal code and tough, mandatory sentencing laws that punish with imprisonment the simplest and most non-violent of crimes to drive them into a feeding frenzy of putting our citizens in jail at a tremendous cost in ruined lives and taxpayer dollars.
Dan has a list of links to news items dealing with the US government’s snooping on it citizens. Rather than repeating them here I’ll just send you over there. He did include a graphic that explains why I view Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning as more heroes than villains. I’m not sure either chose the best approach for making the information public that they did but the information did need to be released.