The Aftermath of Snowden’s Flight

My column this week for Medium is about what comes after Snowden flees Hong Kong.

The most immediate consequence for the U.S. government is that the Snowden leaks severely compromised public trust. President Obama was already fighting with the press over an escalating series of scandals involving potentially improper Justice Department investigations of reporters exposing secret intelligence operations. Last month’s revelations of a massive surveillance complex snooping on phone data and emails surely accelerated any drop in public trust.

The problem posed by this break of trust is that Washington runs on it (Snowden is hated largely for violating it, too). Yet there are few reasons to blindly trust the government after a decade of broken promises, failed wars, and dodgy policy explanations. Washington is facing a legitimacy crisis.

Read the whole thing over at Medium.

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