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Letter: Snowden Acted Heroically

To the Editor:

Why is Edward Snowden considered a traitor and not a hero? He exposed secrets of the federal government, things we the people should have known all along. Snowden stands for democracy and transparency, which our government has not exercised for decades. Why should the government have the power to listen to our phone calls or read our emails without permission when we cannot walk into the White House and read all of the documents there? So our lives are transparent, but the affairs of the government — the ruling body for the people — are not?

Our Founding Fathers would be disappointed and, in fact, professed great concern about overreaching powers of future governments. They created the Constitution for the people with the idea that everyone would have the undeniable rights of free speech, religion, press and peaceful assembly. The First Amendment should protect Snowden, and anyone who believes in the Constitution should support him.

Perhaps President Obama does not believe in the Constitution, considering that he has denounced the actions of Snowden. The hypocrisy before us is that Obama praised the actions of Nelson Mandela during the president’s recent South African tour, stating, “This country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me. ... The power of principle and people standing up for what is right I think continues to shine as a beacon.” Snowden, like Mandela, is doing what is right for the people of the United States and should be acknowledged for his bravery.

“The greatest fear I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change,” Snowden told a reporter for the Guardian newspaper. If no one does anything about this, as Snowden fears will happen, the government will gain more control over its people. We all should stand, like Nelson Mandela once did and Snowden is doing now, for freedom and doing the right thing!

Rachel Fogg

White River Junction