In Response to: Snowden's Appearance

James Robertson ’59 bemoans the lack of any protest by Princeton students against Edward Snowden (Inbox, July 8). He is missing the bigger picture, which I’m sure is what those Princeton students understood. If abuses are massive enough, pervasive enough, and dangerous enough, thoughtful moral individuals find themselves at a crossroads of history where one small act of civil disobedience can right great wrongs affecting millions. This is precisely what Rosa Parks did in the face of immoral Jim Crow laws; what Claus von Stauffenberg tried to do in the assassination attempt on Hitler; what Daniel Ellsberg did with the Pentagon Papers; and what Snowden did in exposing the unconstitutional, widespread, secret abuses of the NSA that affected not only every single American, but millions overseas as well. (And God help us what would have happened in the future if he hadn’t blown the whistle.) All of them were breaking laws. To be logically consistent, Mr. Robertson must insist we find fault with them all.

In the meantime, the Snowden vindications have only just begun, with court rulings and a federal law curbing such abuses passed by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Randolph Hobler ’68
Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.