The Snowden saga reveals again, how elected officials, almost all, on both sides of the aisle, except for a select few, like Bernie Sanders, are unwilling to step out from the broken power system and do the right thing when it comes to whistleblowers.
It will take a very strong showing by the people of the world, not just the USA, to make the right thing happen. American citizens must set the media and the politicians straight. Leaders of the scores of nations who have been spied upon by NSA must mobilize their people and send a unified message to Obama and the enablers of the out-of-control, constitution violating NSA. This is not a softball project. The people in the US must make it a high priority issue in elections. The people in other nations can make it an issue that deals with military, security and trade terms. That's already begun to happen.
Perhaps a whistleblower wiki, or a Snowden repercussions wiki can be established, which shows the damage that NSA and it's spying has done to US relations throughout the world. That might force NSA defenders to change their tune. These defenders have made un-supported, nah, let's call them bogus claims, that Snowden hurt the USA. On the other hand, there are growing examples of how NSA's actions, now that nations have become aware of them, have hurt the USA.
Bottom line, we need more Ed Snowdens, more whistelblowers, more heroes who unveil the truth. Since the White House and congress will not reward, let alone pardon them, other organizations should. It is a sign of a failure of courage, and complicity with the top-down power system that dominates the planet, that the Nobel Prize committee and Time Magazine person of the year chose to ignore Snowden. Well, the Nobel prize is the legacy of a war billionaire (in today's dollars.) And Time is the essence of establishment journalism.
Perhaps it is time for some awards to be created by bottom-up processes, with tens or hundreds of millions of people voting. It's time we stopped depending on the most powerful top-down organizations, individuals and forces to decide who are our heroes. We the people need to embrace the possibilities we face. WE can choose the ones we believe in. If we do it right, we can have a range of such heroes-- heroes for women, for young people for seniors, for minorities. Those awards would represent far more people than the handful of elites who get to choose medals we currently offer.