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Letter: In defense of the NSA leaker

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency. (June 9, 2013) Credit: AP

Edward Snowden may have broken laws by revealing secret federal data-gathering, but the government broke people's trust ["What to do with Snowden," Editorial, Jan. 12].

Snowden revealed something that's been happening for a long time. The government betrayed our trust, and without Snowden's audacity, President Barack Obama -- who now cannot be trusted -- and the government would still be spying.

Should Snowden be punished? He's been punished enough and is still being punished. He's in exile from his home, his family and friends. He knew what would happen and still decided to go forward for Americans' sake.

What to do with Snowden? Leave him alone, that's what.

Philip Boccia, New Hyde Park
 

Those who call Edward Snowden a traitor would also consider our Founding Fathers traitors. They renounced their British citizenship in the name of liberty, risking their lives and fortunes.

Benjamin Franklin was quoted saying that sacrificing your liberty for temporary security would eventually lead to the loss of both.

There is no mention in this editorial about James Clapper, director of National Intelligence. Clapper lied before Congress, denying the effort to monitor Americans' phone calls.

The last time I checked, lying under oath was a serious crime. What is the point of having agencies testify to congressional committees if they are allowed to lie with impunity? Is it all for theater?

Robert Dirmeir Jr., Baldwin
 

Edward Snowden's revelations, and the subsequent government reactions, might lead us to mute our own response to the monstrosity that government-sponsored surveillance has become.

The National Security Agency reportedly employs more than 30,000 people and has an annual budget of more than $10 billion. This beast has lost all sense of proportion. If we did some rigorous thinking about this and considered reactions from abroad, we might begin to regain some ethical objectivity on the issue.

Snowden has shown us inside the castle walls, and there is a warped reality reigning there. It has grown unchecked and will continue to ensnare all of us in its paranoia if we don't dismantle it.

James Deegan, Wading River
 

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