A Hero or A Traitor?

After teaching Introduction to Media Studies I am still reflecting on the class answers to one of the last assignments, which was to research the Edward Snowden case. Each student had to decide about the following questions: Was he a hero or a traitor? Or was he a whistleblower that was just misunderstood? Should he be held accountable for his actions if he ever returns to the USA?

Some of the students after reviewing the new media decided that it was good that he brought to light of government surveillance, as he technically did not share certain files, but they also felt that he didn’t need to be held for accountability.

In my opinion, while there needs to be government transparency, but we do not need to know everything that happening. I say this because sometimes it is more important to protect our military and our nation’s secrets.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s our country was in a race go the moon. My parents were sworn to secrecy, as they had work in top secret classified jobs for a particular airplane company. While they were very proud of where they worked, they also agreed not to share any the company’s trade secrets. I share these same family values.

However, now I am left questioning the government oath he took for his security job. Does an oath ethically mean nothing in today’s world? Feel free to respond with your view?

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