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Indeed, he seemed naively and peculiarly surprised that the United States revoked his passport in its efforts to bring him to justice. Why on earth does he think WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, his hero and role model, who published reams of classified U.S. documents, is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London?

President Obama, while traveling in Tanzania, said the U.S. has been working through law enforcement channels and at other high diplomatic levels with the Russians “to find a solution to the problem.”

Mr. Putin, enjoying any opportunity to stick it to the United States, was not budging from his conditional offer of a safe harbor, even as he acknowledged that Mr. Snowden isn’t going to buy it because “he feels himself to be a human rights activist.” If Mr. Snowden will not agree to his conditions, Mr. Putin said, then “he must choose a country of destination and go there.”

Mr. Snowden wants to do just that. The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that he’s given Russian officials a list of 15 countries to whom he plans to apply for asylum.

Mr. Snowden is a young, naive, undereducated computer hacker and political zealot who is under the simple-minded delusion that America’s government shouldn’t have any secrets; that it should conduct no surveillance programs to protect Americans from deadly terrorist attacks; and that a free society means that law enforcers should not conduct precautionary inquiries about people here and abroad who are, with just cause, suspected of plotting to kill as many of us as they can.

This week, evidence was presented in the court-martial trial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who leaked classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks that showed al Qaeda leaders reveling in the secret information that they said will help them to attack our country.

“By the grace of God, the enemy’s interests are today spread all over the place,” said Adam Gadahn, a member of the terrorist group, in a 2011 al Qaeda-produced video.

The video urged terrorists to study the material revealed by WikiLeaks, whose release was applauded by Mr. Snowden.

The prosecution at Pfc. Manning’s trial offered excerpts from the winter 2010 issue of al Qaeda’s online magazine Inspire, which said, “Anything useful from WikiLeaks is useful for archiving.”

The government also submitted evidence that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, obtained Afghanistan battlefield documents published by WikiLeaks. They were discovered during the May 2011 raid on his Pakistan compound where he was killed.

This is what’s at stake in Mr. Snowden’s unconscionable theft and disclosure of vital national security information that has terrorist leaders cheering his evil acts. He is not a hero. He’s a criminal who is helping terrorists wage war on Americans and our homeland.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.