snowden has done irreversible damage to the u.s., according to the head of the nsa. but he has also shown that the u.s. government deserves damage, much more than ed can inflict (probably). my view is that everyone who has ever worked in any of these programs and agencies at any level is morally - and, for that matter, constitutionally - obligated to do what ed snowden did. you don't have an authoritarian, anti-democratic state unless people silence their individual consciences and collude in their own and everyone else's oppression. if people were making moral judgments even vaguely independently, you could not accomplish these things. not that no one would ever agree to participate in things like total surveillance regimes, but some people would hop off and make such things impossible. every nightmare of the twentieth century took this form: the individual conscience is irrelevant; all that counts is a simulated collective decision or identity, i.e. some vicious, power-drunk fuck's arbitrary decision, imposed by coercion. no one can be under any all-things-considered obligation to abide by such things. but anyone can be under an all-things-considered moral obligation to commit what such regimes of coercion call a 'felony,' or whatever.