Edward Snowden's lawyer told the Russians that his client needs asylum because he fears persecution, torture and death in the United States. As one regular commenter on this site has recently said, "This is a side show. The real show is the fact that our government spies on us for political motivations."
Our government spying on us for political motivations should be nothing new to readers of this blog. In fact, the methods and techniques have been highlighted here for years. In addition, the government justification for spying has been criticized here for a long time and almost all of that information was already out there.
Whether Snowden woke up a new bunch of people to a lot of old news or not isn't the point. He stole classified documents and gave them to foreign interests. We cannot sit back and justify crimes because they feed our frustrations.
Yes the government has overstepped its bounds in many, many areas. It spends too much, it is corrupted too much, it is too tyrannical, it ignores the boundaries of the Constitution and those in power abuse their power to stay in power.
During a recent meeting with a highly respected top republican we both lamented that America needs to elect people who don't need the job. Not that we only elect the wealthiest among us, but those who don't see their office as a source of income. When people need the job they are corruptible.
But none of this justifies what Snowden did by stealing government documents, nor does he help his case by telling the world that in America he is subject to torture and death.
Only a real traitor would stand in Russia and level such outlandish claims against his own country.