My latest at the Diplomat amplifies my thoughts on Snowden:
Of course, the United States isn’t the People’s Republic of China. Edward Snowden had plentiful opportunities to make his views regarding the extent of the national security state known without violating the law or committing espionage, although such arguments would not have received nearly as much attention without the illegal activity. The journalists who worked with Snowden are unlikely to face any charges at all, despite the inflammatory rhetoric of certain pundits and Congressmen. Snowden’s revelations challenge critical components of the U.S. national security state much more than they attack the fundamental legitimacy of the U.S. government.
Nevertheless, the national security apparati of China and the United States likely face some of the same problems, if not yet on the same scale. If leaks from low level operatives like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden can cause the U.S. national security bureaucracy such agony, imagine what someone with real access to power could manage? China already faced a version of this in the Wang Lijun-Bo Xilai affair, and the national security bureaucracies of the United States, Russia, and many other countries may soon have similar issues.