A Tale of Two Defectors

Why is Edward Snowden treated as a whistleblower and Monica Witt as a traitor?

“Spy Betrayed U.S. to Work for Iran,” ran the headline on the frontpage story in the New York Times on February 13, reporting on allegations made against Monica Elfriede Witt, a former U.S. intelligence officer. Witt defected to the Islamic Republic of Iran in August 2013 with a head full of secrets and remained in contact, both before and after her defection, with Iranian intelligence officers.

In the case of such defections, what defines a “spy” is often in the eye of the beholder.