"These are not traitors motivated by money or an ideological sympathy with the enemy, but leakers driven by a conviction that information should be free, that secrecy itself is evil. Although Pte Manning's leaking was profligate, and Edward Snowden far more focused on alleged wrongdoing, the back story is the same - a cultural clash. What happens when men imbued with the almost romantic concept of a high-tech world where information flows freely work in a world where secrecy is an assumed virtue?" Mark Mardell, BBC News in "Bradley Manning's 35-year sentence is a halfway house" August 21, 2013
My wife asked me what I thought of Manning's sentence. I said I had no problems with it, but her question got me thinking. See, both of these men had positions in which secrecy is "the name of the game." I don't know the stories of these men, but Mr. Snowden seemingly sought that position. You aren't drafted into the NSA. You choose to work for them. These men intentionally released this secret information so that it would be made public. Releasing secret information is not a right base on democratic principles; it is rebellion. If Mr. Snowden would have demonstrated his democratic rights, he would not have applied to the NSA. In fact, he may have even protested the existence of the NSA. But he joined it, and then he rebelled against it. Mr. Manning's situation is a little more confusing, and there has been much dialogue over how he got into that position, but again, he could have protested being there just a like a conscientious objector in the army who is reassigned or discharged for refusing to kill. This is not about expressing one's rights, these stories are about rebelliousness and subversiveness.
Pretend for a moment you are pregnant and don't want to have a baby. You want an abortion. You go to your doctor and tell the doctor that you don't want the child and want to have an abortion. Little do you know that your doctor opposes abortion. Do you want your doctor to tell you that immediately and refer you to another doctor? Or, do you want your doctor to do the abortion and then have him/her express his opposition by intentionally harming you during the abortion, so that you would suffer for having an abortion? To me, Mr. Manning and Mr. Snowden are the latter trying to make the government bleed, when all they had to do was elect not to do the operation. That's either passive-aggressive rebelliousness or downright subversiveness.
I try to be the best citizen possible of this nation, but my loyalty is not to this nation as much as it is to the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, the king is not concerned about us having lots of information but lots of wisdom. In the kingdom of God the king does not and cannot reveal every thought of his to the citizens of his kingdom; his citizens couldn't understand it all if they tried. In the kingdom of God, rebelliousness is looked down upon. In fact, it shows you are still attached to another kingdom. In the kingdom of God the king knows all your personal information. You can't keep anything secret from him. The only reason you want to do so is because you don't want to be part of his kingdom. Of course, in the kingdom of God, the king sent his son to this earth to reveal himself and his love, and some of the people of this earth rejected him and put him to death using the same technique (the sharing of subversive information) as Mr. Manning and Mr. Snowden. In the kingdom of God there are no rights, nor is there any democracy. However, there is a king who honors and values each person more than any democratic government ever will.