Home > A Brave New Yo-Yo, Profiles in Courage > “Where are the Snowdens of Yesteryear?”

“Where are the Snowdens of Yesteryear?”

Today, any true aficionado of the novel Catch-22 must be pondering the irony of a character named Snowden “spilling his guts.”


“Help him, help him,” Dobbs was sobbing.  “Help Him, help him.”

“Help Who?  Help Who?” Yossarian called back.  “Help who?”

“The Bombardier, the bombardier,” Dobbs cried.  “He doesn’t  answer, he doesn’t answer.  Help the bombardier, help the bombadier.”

“I’m the bombardier,” Yossarian cried back at him.  “I’m the bombardier.  I’m all right.  I’m all right.”

“Then help him, help him,” Dobbs begged.  “Help him, help him.”

And Snowden lay dying in the back.



“They’re trying to kill me,” Yossarian told him calmly.

“No one’s trying to kill you,” Clevinger cried.

“Then why are they shooting at me?” Yossarian asked.

“They’re shooting at everyone,” Clevinger answered. “They’re trying to kill everyone.”

“And what difference does that make?”



“The enemy,” retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, “is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on . . . “

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