In June of 2013, Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA employee, thrust himself into the spotlight when he leaked thousands of top secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents to the journalist, Glen Greenwald. Immediately branded as a whistleblower, Snowden reignited an international debate about private citizens who reveal government secrets that should be exposed but may endanger the lives of citizens.
Like the late Karen Silkwood, whose death in a car accident while bringing incriminating evidence against her employer to a meeting with a New York Times reporter, is still a mystery, Snowden was intent upon revealing the controversial practices of his employer, a government contractor.
Rightly or wrongly, Snowden and Silkwood believed that their revelations would save lives. In his book, The Whistleblower’s Dilemma: Snowden, Silkwood And Their Quest For the Truth, Richard Rashke weaves between the lives of these two controversial figures and creates a narrative context for a discussion of what constitutes a citizen’s duty to reveal or not to reveal.