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Please begin with an informative title:

Critics of the tactics and personalities of Snowden and Greenwald, and everybody desiring more checks and balances on the surveillance community, would benefit from paying more attention to the following points:

1.    Normal personalities are cowed into silence by fully rational fear of retaliation, so only special personalities take the risk of angering powerful and secretive forces. (An example that should be evocative for Americans of virtually any political stripe is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose publicizing of the Soviet Gulag was valuable regardless of his personality or political views).

2.    Once an individual becomes the target of powerful forces’ retaliatory scrutiny, spinning, isolation, pressure and/or threats, the individual will naturally feel like a martyr.

3.    Even a martyr may retain an instinct for self-preservation, and cannot possibly avoid all missteps under this type of pressure and scrutiny, so it is inevitable that the targeted individual will offend many sensibilities and legitimate concerns of the forces that are targeting him or her, and of bystanders.

4.    Bystanders who are tempted to focus on refining and debating their views on heroes & villains, would be better served by focusing more on:

the present opportunity to strengthen checks and balances in and on the surveillance community (of governments, their private contractors, and other private organizations),

the likely weakening of this opportunity after Snowden and Greenwald disappear from media front pages, and

how to seize this opportunity NOW!  (Hint: pushing for domestic legislation and perhaps international treaties is more important than soliciting or parsing comments on Snowden or Greenwald).


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