"Mais ou sont les Snowdens d'antan?" -- Catch-22, Joseph Heller

 The nattering nabobs of National Security have been at Ed Snowden, who leaked the material about the NSA domestic spying ("all legal, all legal the nabors say) by insult and invective. They have called his behavior traitorous and treasonous and everything else bad that they can possibly imagine.
But the worst thing they have said about Ed Snowden is that he is a high school dropout. 
May the Millennial Diety that still rules our scrambled official psyche strike him dead, over there in Hong Kong!!
It reminded one Badlands Journal editor of a topless dancer joint barker on Broadway in San Francisco who some years ago made his pitch thus: "We got six college coeds and A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT."
Perhaps Mme. Sen. Dianne Feinstein also heard that immortal barker in the local politics phase of her career, back when her hearing was a little better.
There is something "sinful and lewd" about a high school dropout. You just try to say the term without a sneer, every so slight, that reflects your ontempt for anyone who the lacks the formal American education and academic credentials.
Certainly no one of that class ought to have had such enormous responsibilities. A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT, fer Chrissake!!! 
No one can have a decent sense of responsibility, not to mention personal morality without at least a bachelor degree in petroleum engineering, bio-engineering, actuarial statistics or any of the other hot offerings at our corporate universities;  at the graduate level, the MBA and the law degree are well known for cultivating the mature ethical standards required to direct with discretion the snoop on fellow citizens (particularly those that lack college educations); beyond that lies the stratosphere of doctoral degrees in fields like foreign relations (the imperial PhD), all kinds of engineering, genome deconstructionism, etc. etc., along with the post-graduate work in computer science that finances creation of the hardware and software required to snoop on absolutely everyone in the world (at least shortly).
Mais voila le Snowden d'antan.  He was a HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT. What could he know?
Evidently he knows more than enough.
One thing he does not know, because he was not properly trained for it, is the "professional ethic" that declares that the only proper way to use your mind is to advance your personal career at all costs by the exploitation of everything and everyone within the boundaries of your academic sub-discipline of expertise.
And then there is Snowden's modesty problem. He is really way too matter-of-fact about his courage. Actually he is so unassuming that he appears to the contemporary eye in these dog days of the Age of Narcissism to be almost unamerican in his humility and feven more so in his recognition of the consequences of his actions.
Badlands Journal editorial board