Mandela's supporters are bracing for the end of his life because of his age and an infirmity he contacted in prison.
He has been a political genus, and fortunately blessed with good genes that allowed him to live long enough to complete what he called his "long walk to freedom.'
He has written that that journey is not over for South Africa, even though it may be ending for him.
Snowden knows his travails may just be starting as he becomes an international outlaw, but one with access to secrets that the powerful want to keep secret. He faces many challenges., and soon, perhaps, many charges.
Mandela's not only has health issues but also a family revolt on his hands with two daughters suing his lawyer and close friend who are administering a trust that he set up looking for money for themselves.
What is widely perceived as their greed is evidence of how the values Mandela fought fore are being corrupted in the new South Africa. When he was more politically active Mandela spoke out against this betrayal of the struggle that was his life.
Snowden's stance grew out of his sense that the public was being abused by the rise of technocratic surveillance leviathan. American officials are now speaking out against him.
Both are now joined together as rebels of our time.
News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org and blogs at Newsdissector.net.
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