Lord knows I know better than to stick my tongue on this frozen flagpole but here goes anyway. As always with flagpole-tonguing, brevity is best. So this won't hurt long.
There is a great deal of interest in Mr Snowden, the gov't projects detailed in his information releases, and the ultimate fate of both. There is a great division of opinion between those who laud Mr Snowden's actions and those who condemn them. There is likewise a division of opinion about how the gov't should prosecute Mr Snowden.
Those who would laud Mr Snowden feel he should not be tried at all which means he should not be subject to arrest. Those that condemn him fully want and expect him to stand trial. I am sure this does not apply to every single person on either side of these two disagreements, but it certainly seems it applies to the vast majority of those who have opined.
I would like* to suggest this second division of opinion need not exist. I suggest both those who see Mr Snowden as hero and those who see him as fink can and perhaps should agree that he should return to the US to stand trial. Here is the rationale.
Many people who do not want to see Mr Snowden stand trial say they feel this way because the Patriot Act clauses which legalized the current level of gov't monitoring are unconstitutional. The problem with that is, the SCOTUS has not issued a ruling to that effect. Laws passed by Congress are considered consistent with the Constitution until a SCOTUS ruling declares they are unconstitutional. Mr Snowden himself could end up being the catalyst that brings the Patriot Act under SCOTUS review.
Should Mr Snowden return to the US and stand trial he could well be convicted. This would lead into the appeals process. If Mr Snowden's appeal is turned down he can apply to higher courts, until the SCOTUS is reached. I think nothing would be more satisfying to Mr Snowden than being the person who's case ended with the Patriot Act being struck down. (Or its more odious portions struck down at least.)
And of course should Mr Snowden not be convicted or should he win on appeal... well then that gets him off the hook for good.
I have chosen not to make up my mind on this entire story because IMO we have yet to get a low-distortion view of what all has happened. We do not know everything that has been revealed nor to whom. We do not know for certain if the gov't oversight measures are as effective as the gov't claims. IMO we will learn much more before this is all over. And one of the ways we'd learn is if this matter worked its way through the legal system.
I understand the division of opinion regarding the hero / fink divide. I understand that has translated into the trial / no trial divide. But I suggest that second divide need not exist or at least it need not be so deep. In the larger picture Mr Snowden himself is not the main story. With that much I agree, but I go one step further. His trial would serve that larger picture.
If in the end the Patriot Act were overturned thanks to the acts of Mr Snowden, on that day I think we'd have DKos in a rare moment of agreement. Then Mr Snowen would be rather a hero. As well as a free man no longer looking over his shoulder.
With that I walk my dogs. Back a half-hour after publication, or so.
* Not really. See 1st paragraph.