Shelby Jackson, staff writer, shelbycjackson@gmail.com

If you’ve heard anything in the news over the last couple of months about Edward Snowden, it’s probably had something to do with the headline “Whistleblower or Traitor?” For those who don’t know anything about what’s going on with this story, let me share a little synopsis.

A couple months ago, Snowden was charged with espionage and theft of government property.  He then leaked information about the nations mass surveillance, national security and breaking of privacy acts.  Snowden has been seeking asylum in several different countries and has been offered temporary asylum in Russia.

I’ll cut to the chase; Snowden is a traitor.  My reasoning is the fact that instead of leaking the information to people who could fix the problem within our own nation, he gave it to “The Guardian,” a British news source.  I don’t know how he figured that would fix anything.  By no means do I agree with what the NSA is doing by collecting huge databases on each and every American individual, but that is still no excuse to leak our nation’s secrets to other countries.  What made him a traitor is the way he went about it.

Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky talked about Snowden’s dilemma a few weeks ago in a CNN interview.

“I do think for Mr. Snowden, if he cozies up to the Russian government, it will be nothing but bad for his name in history,” Paul said. “If he goes to an independent third country like Iceland, and if he refuses to talk to any sort of formal government about this, I think there’s a chance that he’ll be seen as an advocate of privacy. If he cozies up to either the Russian government, the Chinese government or any of these governments that are perceived still as enemies of ours, I think that will be a real problem for him in history.”

We now know that Snowden has received temporary asylum in Russia.  I find this to be really interesting.  Why would he leak secrets about our national security and then look for asylum in Russia and China, two countries we have never ever had a solid relationship with?  I find that extremely odd.  What could possibly be in Russia for him?

The point I’m trying to make is Snowden can’t be trusted any more than our own government.  We know the federal government has been and still is collecting personal and private information on the thanks to the NSA and the patriot act.  In no way am I defending the government, but I don’t believe in supporting someone that sells out our country to other countries then runs away like he has something to hide.

I just want everyone to remember that this is America, a land of liberty and freedom.  We have the opportunity to make choices and better ourselves every day, but we need to make those choices that will keep us free and go about the right way of ensuring those freedoms.

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Blake McClary is a rising senior at Utah Valley University studying Marketing and Spanish. He currently serves at the Art Director of the UVU Review and the VP of Marketing for the Student Alumni Association. Upon graduation, Blake hopes to move on to work for a prominent marketing agency. In his free time he enjoys photography, the outdoors, and all things Hipster.