Patriot vs. Traitor

Buried beneath the piles and piles of news regarding the birth of the royal baby and the UK’s porn purge lies a glimmer of hope for Edward Snowden. Apparently, there is hope that the NSA leaker will be able to leave the Moscow Airport transit center, thanks to his confirmation that he promises that he will not leak any NSA stories on Russian ground. While this will prove to be a potential issue for US relations with Russia as well as Obama’s upcoming visit with Putin this fall, it spells temporary victory for Snowden while he formulates a plan to safely travel to South America.

One of the ongoing debates that have occurred since the breaking of this story is the question of how American citizens view Snowden.Can he be viewed as a patriot for the heroic actions he took to inform the American public that their rights were being infringed upon? Or is he seen as a traitor, a man who betrayed his country and let his secrets out? This situation becomes a little hairy, especially when most Americans could care less.

In a poll taken about 5 weeks ago, 31% of Americans view Edward Snowden as a patriot compared to the 23% who view him as a traitor. But if you do the math, you can see that only have the country stated an opinion on the subject. 46% answered that poll with “not sure/no opinion.” I guess that shows that most Americans just don’t have an interest in this story compared to other events such as the Zimmerman Trial or the heatwave throughout the Northeast.

More importantly, in response to hearing about this poll, Edward Snowden himself released a statement regarding the subject.”I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.” If Edward Snowden is not interested in taking on the role of an American hero in this story, we as the media or the citizens should not be interested in trying to stick one on him. 

As you can tell once again, it has been a dry week for this story due to all of the other events in the news. But with the speculation about Snowden’s temporary asylum offer from Russia, I’m sure his name will appear in the headlines again very soon.

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