The U.S. government routinely tries to hide its unlawful behavior. It hides mistakes and incompetence too. Exposing that misbehavior sometimes requires publishing classified information, like the Pentagon Papers or accounts of warrantless wiretapping in the Bush Administration. That's a historical fact, not an opinion.
Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Michael Kinsley declares, "The Snowden leaks were important—a legitimate scoop—and we might never have known about the N.S.A.'s lawbreaking if it hadn’t been for them." As he sees it, unauthorized disclosures of classified information typically benefit the public. "Most leaks from large bureaucracies are 'good' leaks," he writes. "No danger to national security, no harm to innocent people, information the public ought to have."
How strange to believe that while also insisting that the publication of leaks by journalists should be criminalized—which is what Kinsley does later in the same article.
"It seems clear, at least to me, that the private companies that own newspapers, and their employees, should not have the final say over the release of government secrets and a free pass to make them public with no legal consequences," he writes. "In a democracy ... that decision must ultimately be made by the government. No doubt the government will usually be overprotective of its secrets, and so the process of decision-making—whatever it turns out to be—should openly tilt in favor of publication with minimal delay. But ultimately ... someone gets to decide, and that someone cannot be Glenn Greenwald."