Edward Snowden's spy jinks may be old news now, but the question still lingers: Is he a hero or a villain?
Simple answer. He's both.
He alerted Americans that their own government was spying on them under the authority of the most routine of court orders, if they even had that. And that was information Americans were glad to know. Whether we were conducting nefarious operations or simply living clean lives didn't seem to matter -- our personal data were collected by the government and presumably will occupy some tiny amount of space in some huge hard drive forever. For that, Snowden is a hero.
But some of the commentators say Snowden may have exposed some super secrets to our enemies and done damage which will take decades to repair . We need some evidence of that, but if it's true, he's a villain.
He's a hero and a villain. He's like the hypothetical deviant who robs a man he saved from drowning. So the real question is what should be done with such an individual. Maybe they could give him the key to the city as he goes off to jail, but the irony in that might be too rich.