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Snowden was out to hurt U.S.

Editorial

Edward Snowden, currently the focus of a vortex of political intrigue, has been called a whistleblower and a traitor. It’s becoming more evident that he is the latter, a planted traitor whose goal from the beginning was to cripple his nation’s security.

His decision to hide out in Hong Kong was suspicious, but it has become more so with his movement to Russia and apparent plans to go to Ecuador by way of Cuba.

However you look at it, Snowden is cooperating — and getting cooperation from — nations that have human rights and freedom track records that are the very things Snowden purports to despise.

On Monday, the South China Morning Post took the story even deeper. Snowden, the newspaper reported, in a June 12 interview admitted that he sought a job as systems administrator for Booz Allen Hamilton for the purpose of gaining access to classified information on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

That admission recasts Snowden’s avowed pristine motives as espionage. He didn’t feel compelled to tell Americans what he discovered. He went into the job with intent to damage the United States. It also indicates that he was encouraged by people or organizations with agendas to harm the United States. Reinforcing that notion is the assistance Snowden is getting in his flight from Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who has been hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Were Snowden truly a whistleblower interested only in revealing U.S. government activities that he believed were illegal, he would have stood by his actions, pleaded his case and accepted the consequences of his actions in the U.S. legal system. Instead, he is running. His stay in Hong Kong likely coincided with the amount of time it took him to share whatever he knew about U.S. surveillance of China before he was spirited to Moscow to let them in on what our intelligence agencies have on Russia. Then it’s off to Cuba for a debriefing before he heads to Ecuador.

None of the places on Snowden’s itinerary has a free press or any of the other freedoms provided by our Bill of Rights. WikiLeaks is only interested in a free Internet when it comes at the expense of the United States.

“Mr. Snowden’s claim that he is focused on supporting transparency, freedom of the press and protection of individual rights and democracy is belied by the protectors he has potentially chosen — China, Russia, Ecuador, as we’ve seen,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. “His failures to criticize these regimes suggests that his true motive throughout has been to injure the national security of the United States, not to advance Internet freedom and free speech.”

Meanwhile, Chinese and Russian intelligence agencies — who are trying just as hard to pierce the firewalls surrounding U.S. security information as we are theirs — have gained a great advantage, both from knowing how the U.S. is probing their data and from learning what Snowden knows about the U.S. protecting its data. And any national-level government official who professes to be shocked and alarmed that other nations are trying their best to find out his or her nation’s secrets is, simply put, a poor liar.

The Obama administration has attempted to arrest Snowden by using international law, but that has been thwarted. Snowden is too high-valued an asset for China and Russia to just give him up, at least before they’ve drained every bit of information they can get from him. Once his usefulness has ended, it’s doubtful they’ll have a lot of use and trust in a man who would betray his own nation.

And in the end, that’s what Snowden did, and intended to do all along. He is a traitor.