The only reason this debate is taking place now is because of the actions of Edward Snowden.

During his speech about the NSA President Obama said this current debate on surveillance will make us stronger as a country. From Obama:

One thing I’m certain of: this debate will make us stronger. And I also know that in this time of change, the United States of America will have to lead. It may seem sometimes that America is being held to a different standard, and the readiness of some to assume the worst motives by our government can be frustrating. No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programs, or Russia to take the privacy concerns of citizens into account. But let us remember that we are held to a different standard precisely because we have been at the forefront in defending personal privacy and human dignity.

The only reason this debate is taking place now is because of the actions of Edward Snowden. Logically this must mean what Snowden did was make the country stronger. So I’m curious how Snowden can both be responsible for making the country stronger and also a traitor according to the administration.

It is also worth highlighting that Obama’s defense is to point out he is not as bad as a communist dictator. That is not exactly a high bar.

Photo by svennevenn under Creative Commons license