With Edward Snowden blowing the whistle on the NSA surveillance program, I have heard a lot of liberty advocates saying that this isn't about Snowden. It is about the wrongdoing of the federal government. Even Snowden himself has said that this whole thing shouldn't be about him.
I think it is important to realize that there are several issues we are dealing with here. I can break it down into 3 separate categories.
1) The NSA has been, and is currently, spying on Americans with no reason to expect that most of them have done anything wrong or illegal.
2) The NSA and the federal government have kept this surveillance program a secret, even though they are now defending it, saying it is necessary for national security.
3) Whistleblowers, like Edward Snowden, will be attacked by most politicians in DC, and they will try to prosecute him to teach others a lesson. They will say that they encourage transparency in government and they will say that whistleblowers should be protected when it is involving a non-governmental entity. However, any whistleblower who is exposing lies and wrongdoings of the government will be attacked, smeared, and prosecuted if possible.
So while many libertarians, along with Snowden himself, are saying that this whole thing shouldn't be about Snowden, they are not entirely correct. Perhaps the biggest issue in this whole saga isn't about the NSA's surveillance program (which people should have already known existed), but how whistleblowers are treated when they expose government wrongdoing.
Just to clarify, when I say that this is about Snowden, it has nothing to do with his level of education or how he acted when he was a teenager. Those are just smears by people who are trying to change the subject and make him look bad. But this whole thing is about Snowden as a symbol of how politicians in DC will treat someone who exposes the truth. We have already seen it with Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.
This serves as a message that the establishment in DC will not tolerate anyone who exposes the truth, especially when it damages their own reputation. The more serious the crime that is exposed, the more these thugs will go after the whistleblower. As long as the American people let these criminals in Washington DC get away with these things, then they will keep happening. There is no one person, even President Obama, who is capable of ending it. There is probably a very logical reason that John F. Kennedy was taken out. The establishment didn't like what he was doing.
Again, the only way this will stop is if a majority (or close to it) of Americans strongly oppose any prosecution of Edward Snowden and others like him. Americans must view these people as heroes.
It is ridiculous to think of someone like Snowden as a traitor who has committed treason. It is not as if he was selling secrets to another government to make money. He released this information, knowing that it would likely ruin his life. He sacrificed almost everything he has and derived absolutely no benefit other than his knowing that he acted morally and in accordance with his principles.
So while the NSA surveillance program is a big issue that Americans should be outraged about, perhaps the treatment of government whistleblowers is an even bigger issue. We cannot hope to be free unless the truth is allowed to be spoken. The truth shall set you free.