Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin has written a scathing essay blasting NSA source Edward Snowden as a “a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison.”
On the website of The New Yorker, Toobin writes that Snowden should not be considered a “hero,” brushing back against arguments made by colleague John Cassidy.
In his piece, Toobin paints Snowden — a 29-year-old contractor for the NSA and a source of revelations about the agency’s surveillance programs — as painfully naive about the nature of the agency.
“What, one wonders, did Snowden think the N.S.A. did? Any marginally attentive citizen, much less N.S.A. employee or contractor, knows that the entire mission of the agency is to intercept electronic communications,” Toobin writes.
Toobin also said Snowden’s motivations reeked more of personal motivations than of a will to expose government wrongdoings for a “greater good”:
The American government, and its democracy, are flawed institutions. But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistle-blower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this. Instead, in an act that speaks more to his ego than his conscience, he threw the secrets he knew up in the air—and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it. We all now have to hope that he’s right.
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