When you are faced with total confusion, it's not all bad to entertain Black Sheep theories. I am struck by the changes in tone vs two other people I feel did almost the same "work", Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. Except it's like The System ran dry shutting those stories down old school style, and finally the deep social threads are in place where Snowden is ... doing something. And not in jail.
And that colossal cognitive dissonance is kinda eating me. I'm slightly to (which?) side of you politically/rhetorically, but we're sorta kindred in our general distrust of pablum. So I have this long running sense from a table gaming perspective (both Magic the Gathering and Chess and a little bit of card Solitaire theory in the mix!) that there's X missing fragments of info that aren't making correct sense of the "tableau".
I have one rant/argument about strong atheism that in the abstract applies broadly to other areas, including "conspiracy theories". I'll frame it as such here.
These are 2 very different beliefs:
A) I do NOT believe that Edward Snowden is acting as an intelligence agent for the sake of destabilizing the government.
B) I believe that Edward Snowden is NOT acting as an intelligence agent for the sake of destabilizing the government.
A is a weak belief.
B is a strong belief.
Strong negative beliefs don't really make much sense most of the time. Unless there is evidence that is existentially incompatible with it, they're simply nonsense.
For example, I am sitting at my desk. Sitting and standing are mutually exclusive. So, the following strong belief makes sense:
I believe that I am not standing.
Still, it's rather stupid as it would make more sense to say:
I believe that I am sitting.
Positive statements are better than negative statements.
For that particular theory about Snowden, while we may not believe it, it doesn't make much sense to have a strong belief unless there is clear evidence that is existentially incompatible with it (evidence that is mutually exclusive from it), which we do not have.
And whether by systemic flaws or design the Media isn't (easily findable?) pointing those out (often enough?).
Probably a bit of both - systemic flaws and by design. There are decent alternative media outlets, though it can be difficult to find them, and sometimes you have to sort some chaff.