The revelations constituted for Greenwald the scoop of the century; for Snowden, the exposure of massive government violations of basic constitutional principles by his former bosses; for the NSA and the Bush and Obama administrations, the revelation of criminal wrongdoing orchestrated by two presidents themselves; and for the American public, a painful realization that the Constitution is only as valuable a restraint on the government as is the fidelity to uphold it of those in whose hands we have reposed it for safekeeping. As Greenwald makes clear, it is not in good hands.
"No Place to Hide" not only tells of Snowden's initially frustrating and anonymous efforts to reach out to Greenwald and the others; it not only carefully explains the insatiable appetite of the NSA to learn everything about everyone ("Collect it all" was a continuously posted NSA motto); it is also a morality tale about the personal courage required of Snowden and Greenwald and his colleagues to expose government wrongdoing and the risk to their lives, liberties and properties in doing so.
In the midst of one of their endless Hong Kong hotel meetings, Snowden told the journalists that the local CIA station employed agents trained to kill; and it was just a few blocks away. Then The Guardian's lawyers informed Greenwald that the Bush and Obama administrations had not hesitated to use the Espionage Act of 1917 -- a World War I-era relic, still on the books, employed to chill, stifle, suppress and ultimately punish free speech -- to attempt to lock up journalists even when they revealed the truth. At this point in my reading the book on Memorial Day, I noticed that my pulse was racing, even though I obviously knew the outcome.