In this setting, it’s easy to see how the young Snowden was exposed to the notion of spycraft as a career, first with the Central Intelligence Agency and later as a systems analyst for two companies under contract to the NSA. But details of his early life — in the agency’s shadows and with both parents working for other branches of the federal government — only magnify the contradictions inherent in Snowden’s decision to become a leaker.
What, after all, did he think he was getting into when he signed up to work for the nation’s espionage agencies? And what specifically triggered a “crisis of conscience” — as described by a friend who knew him when he worked for the CIA — so profound that it convinced him to betray the secrets he was sworn to keep?
While the tedious “Traitor or Hero?” debate rages on, there will be all sorts of analysis done to figure out what sent the poor kid over the edge, especially from the “Hero” camp.
Many of the rest of us will simply keep wondering how a guy who grew up near the NSA but was shocked to find out what the NSA was up to when did contract work for them was bright enough to be doing the work in the first place.
Also, if there is a movie I think Chaz Bono should play Snowden.