I was surprised by your editorial on the NBC interview with Edward Snowden ("Snowden speaks," May 29).
I consider myself fairly objective, yet I heard very different responses from Mr. Snowden than the editorial suggests. It was almost a cognitive dissonance, as though I had watched a different show.
For example, I did not hear Mr. Snowden saying he would like to be a hero. I heard a highly intelligent and relatively humble Mr. Snowden saying he did what he felt was right for the American people. I heard a Mr. Snowden who had enlisted after 9/11, who is dedicated to serving the American people and who yearns to come home.
As for your primary criticism, Mr. Snowden's fleeing the country, Daniel Ellsberg, once vilified and now credited with helping end an unjust and futile Vietnam War, agrees with Mr. Snowden that he would not get a fair trial and that the Espionage Act, as applied to whistleblowers, violates the First Amendment. Mr. Snowden's ability to testify in his own defense would be gagged, as was Mr. Ellsberg's.
Mr. Ellsberg wrote that "Snowden would come back home to a jail cell — and not just an ordinary cell-block but isolation in solitary confinement, not just for months like Chelsea Manning but for the rest of his sentence, and probably the rest of his life."
I would say that these statements come from a true patriot, one who are willing to risk loss of his own freedoms in order to protect the freedom of others.
Hallie Iglehart, Monkton-
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