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Letters: Snowden fallout

June 22, 2013

Re "Snowden, a fool not a spy," Opinion, June 18

Deciding Edward Snowden's status as a traitor or hero is pointless — it confuses two different contexts for his actions.

Deliberately exposing secret material makes him, like Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, blind to the treasonous nature and possible consequences of his actions. A 29-year-old computer nerd is not qualified to be a self-appointed broker of the international balance of power. If Snowden had issues of conscience, reporting them and resigning was the appropriate response.

Nevertheless, it is "shooting the messenger" to condemn Showden's revelations of deeply intrusive and possibly illegal domestic spying. These activities are profoundly dangerous even with suitable oversight from members of Congress — and unthinkable without it.

As tainted as evidence from Snowden is, no exclusionary rule exists. The deep issues raised must be settled by no lesser authority than Congress.

Andrew K. Gabriel

South Pasadena

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