The former NSA contractor set This Town's teeth on edge, but most Americans think he exposed something worth exposing.
He went to China to reveal closely held America secrets, had his passport revoked and a warrant issued for his arrest, fled to Russia with the aid of an accused sex offender, and has been offered asylum by Venezuela, a country whose anti-Americanism is legendary.
"He's a traitor," House Speaker John Boehner told ABC's Good Morning America in mid-June. He articulated the views of many in official Washington when he added: "The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it's a giant violation of the law." Said Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein, also in mid-June: "I don't look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it's an act of treason."
And yet, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, "American voters" -- having had a bit of time to reflect on the question -- "say 55-34 percent that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, rather than a traitor."
"Almost every party, gender, income, education, age and income group regards Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor," the pollsters reported. "The lone exception is black voters, with 43 percent calling him a traitor and 42 percent calling him a whistle-blower."