Leaking fascinates us. Since it involves risk, we wonder if we would have the courage or the playfulness to leak what our employers or clients were up to. Extend that a bit and we then spend a lot of time focusing on what goes on in the minds, hearts, and souls of the big-time whistleblowers like Edward Snowden. His game is way beyond the leakings we have come to so enjoy on Abovethelaw.com.
Snowden, in the GUARDIAN video tape, speaks in a matter-of-fact manner. He says he wants to preserve freedom. He is aware that harm could come to him. He blows off the speculation that he will defect to China, given that he fled to Hong Kong. Of course, cynical us believe not a word of it. We will wait patiently for more information to be uncovered about him and then we will connect the dots in our own way.
As we wait, we return to wondering. Why would a young man earning $200,000 in an industry which is growing and who has a girlfriend give up all that for a future which probably will involve suffering, or at least continually looking over his shoulder? Would we do something like that?
Back in the Counterculture days, we wondered about successful scholar Angela Davis. She was risking it all for what was seen as a radical cause. I asked a fellow graduate student at the University of Michigan who was also African America her take on Davis. I assumed she would cheer her on. "She has too much going for her to take those stands," answered my acquaintance. I was stunned. I was 24 years old then. At age 68, Snowden's decision is what now stuns me.