Perhaps Ruth Marcus [“The insufferable Snowden,” op-ed, Jan. 1] is right that Edward Snowden has an “unpleasant personality.” So do many high-ranking federal officials. But they hid the National Security Agency’s massive, money-wasting program to record all of our phone calls and e-mails while he revealed it. Without Mr. Snowden, we wouldn’t be having this debate. 

Peter Carlson, Rockville

The writer is a former Post journalist.