NSA leaks: In wartime, secrets are life and death matters

Though I hate how big and intrusive our government has become, I don't believe Edward Snowden was aware of the bigger picture when he leaked secret information about the National Security Agency's spying ("Source of NSA leaks named," June 10).

He forgot that by leaking the information about the NSA's snooping on Americans, he also informed our enemies of its extent as well.

One can't tell the American people about something without telling the rest of the world. Because of that, Mr. Snowden's narrow-mindedness should be considered selfish and traitorous.

Had we not been in a war on terrorism, perhaps he would have been justified in revealing these activities. But imagine how World War II might have been changed if an Allied civilian had let the Germans know the British had broken their Enigma code.

Churchill and the Allied commanders considered it so important for the Germans to continue believing their encryption technology was safe that they were willing to let the Luftwaffe bomb the city of Coventry rather than warn the population in order to protect the secret that they were reading the Wehrmacht's mail.

I wonder how our media would have handled that. Believe it or not, there are some things our citizens need not know if there is a risk our enemies could use it to do us harm.

Michael Paulsen, Timonium

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