This is a poor attempt at character assassination by an apologist for the current administration. It is a desperate attempt, too as is usually the case where someone tries to play the Nazi card.
First, you very unjustly ascribe extreme views to Mr. Snowden when there is no evidence that he actually holds those views. Snowden applied a principle from Nuremburg (‘Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience.’) to his own actions, but that obviously does not equate to him saying that ‘those who followed the law were nothing better than Nazis.’ a belief which you ascribe to him.
Second, there is, in fact, very good reason to believe that laws have been broken. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s testimony to Congress troubled Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, because it was misleading. Carl Levin was being polite; simply stated, Clapper lied. How else would we know that that testimony was misleading? Isn’t perjury a law that should be respected, and when that perjury is to Congress on a matter of public importance, doesn’t that rise to a level that whistle-blowing is justified? The only way that lie can be justified is a belief in a paternalistic and hypocritical state that would be antithetical to a modern, democratic state in which a free press exists.
Leaving aside Mr. Clapper’s perjury, the several programs that Mr Snowden publicized each can, to a reasonable person, appear unjustifiably broad and, judging by the widespread outrage that the information about these programs has engendered, many in U.S. and other countries share this view. To retreat to the legal rationalizations of the present administration, which seem to have been distilled to: “if it is written down somewhere, even in a secret court, it must be legal” is a slippery slope that could ultimately be used to defend anything, including—since you asked for it—Nazism.
However, what I find very disturbing about this piece is that it attempts to rationalize the extra-legal and immoral actions of the nascent U.S. police state, a police state that calls for journalists and intellectuals to criticize rather than defend. Let it be noted that, at this important time, you defended, and did not criticize.