Edward Snowden said that he stepped forward because he came to realize that the US government is engaged in invasions of Americans’ privacy on a vast and unprecedented scale, and was hiding its interpretation of the law from the American people. Given that the NSA is contravening the 4th amendment guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure, some Americans consider him a hero.
The governmental class, however, will attempt to destroy Snowden, with well-practiced tools of propaganda, demonization, and distortion, as a way of taking the focus off their own alleged wrong-doing. This is how it is done (although the points are given in the future tense, most have already been trotted out).
1. Snowden will be called a traitor for revealing to the American people the secret actions of the US government as they affect the American people.
2. Snowden will be called a defector for going to Hong Kong, which is ultimately under Chinese rule.
3. Questions will be raised about Snowden’s mental balance.
4. It will be alleged that Snowden does not understand the secret programs on which he blew the whistle.
5. Government spokesmen will assert without evidence that his allegations are simply untrue.
6. Charges Snowden did not make, such as that the government is engaged in warrantless wiretapping of telephones, will be denied. This is a form of misdirection.
7. It will be alleged that the domestic surveillance is legal, even thought that assertion has never been tested in the courts because the US government won’t reveal the victims of its program, so no one is recognized by the courts as having standing to sue. (Everything the Soviet Union did was legal, too, by Soviet law).
8. A small, uncontroversial part of his charges will be admitted, to take the focus off the iceberg under the sea.
9. It will be alleged that Snowden has aided terrorists in eluding observation (even though we have no evidence that major terrorist plots were defeated by data-mining).
10. It will be alleged that what Snowden did was wrong, since Americans could always just have had a democratic dialogue on the secret programs instead. They are hoping you don’t notice that they had kept it secret from you and prevented a democratic dialogue.