I do not believe the verdict in on whether Edward Snowden is a hero or a villain. When he took the security job, he signed a non-disclosure form, I'm sure, promising he wouldn't share the information he would come upon.
Breaking that promise does not lend to being a hero.
And, a just-released congressional report paints him as a disgruntled and belligerent employee, with warnings against his being hired elsewhere in the intelligence community when he left the CIA.
That does not point to his being a hero, either.
He has been living in Russia, of all places. Here he has in his possession maybe 1.7 million classified documents and one of America's biggest enemies has taken him in. In hosting him, the Russians have greater opportunity of claiming any of the secrets.
That does not lend to him being a hero.
But, I read in a letter he wrote to former New Hampshire Republican Senator Gordon Humphrey that he will not release vital information. "You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture," he wrote.
I wonder. And, I wonder whether something in the future will happen, a dire event brought on by Snowden's release of information. I hope not, but who knows.
I know it is human nature to find blame with those who fall from your friendship, and to find fault in order to justify your own position. I am not beyond wondering if the intelligence community reacted to Snowden that way. Bless him if he is holding back information that is damaging. Bless him if the congressional report is painting him as bad when it shouldn't.
(Some rewritting of blog done 9/17/16)