Interesting. I literally haven’t met anyone in Austria who would have called him a “traitor” or a “low grade shitbird”. Well, maybe some people who confused him with Assange might have used the latter term, but that doesn’t count, does it?
There are a lot of people who don’t care. There are people who are in favor of more surveillance. There are people who are happy with taking America’s help in surveilling our own citizens. There are people who can’t get upset about America violating our privacy without any authorization from our laws and without our government even knowing. But I’ve never met people who are so much in favor of of having a foreign super-STASI beyond our democratic control that they can actually get upset about what Snowden has done.
As for views from other places, I’m not saying that other views don’t exist. I’m just saying that they don’t make sense.
After all, if you have a democratic country X, that country will have laws on how much snooping the state is allowed to do on its citizens, and under what circumstances. Country Y comes along and does more snooping on the citizens of X than they decided, through a democratic legislative process, is appropriate. Person Z reveals that country Y has been doing this.
What is the logic by which citizens of X should condemn Z?
If Snowden isn’t pardoned for his non-crime, then he shall stand in Moscow as a perennial saint and martyr to the memory of our constitution and exemplar to the entire world that the United States is now more akin to a failed state. Let him drive a wedge between the US and more decent civilizations until we are isolated, our chickens finally come home and roost, and we as a people finally decide to get serious about fixing our problems and driving out the wicked from our halls of power. But… I still think that a pardon would be better for the US in the long run and it would certainly be better for him.
The United States government claims legitimacy on three things:
The consent of the governed.
Its adherence to its constitution.
Now consent depends on relative equality, and the power to say no, and it’s hard to say that most people in the country are in that position.
But running a permanent secret Stasi goes far beyond consent and against its constitution. And when somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the country is convinced that they’re the only real Americans and that everyone else is un-American that undermines tribal loyalty too.
And if the military, paramilitaries, etc. are screening out idealists to prevent potential leaks, well, they’re hollowing themselves out.