People change their minds on important issues, so the revelation that Edward Snowden thought as recently as four years ago that leakers of classified government intel should “be shot in the balls” doesn’t automatically disqualify him on the grounds of hypocrisy, as no doubt many will argue.
What it should do is make everybody read with care his comments about how the USG was running the “most invasive surveillance system in history.” Snowden is clearly a guy who thinks in extremes. He doesn’t just dislike leakers, he thinks they should be testicle-blasted. And when Snowden changes his mind, he doesn’t do it by degrees: he doesn’t just object to the NSA’s surveillance program, he thinks it’s the Worst. Surveillance. Ever. It’s fitting in this way that we may only think of Snowden as Hero or Traitor, but nothing in between.
Snowden’s thoughts come in only one color: alarm red. Remember to apply a filter for every comment he makes.