Someone famous once said a coward is a hero with a wife, kids and a mortgage. There's a reason why they draft 18-yr olds to fight wars, not 40-yr olds.
Talking about Snowden's state of mind to me is like going on about the horse-race aspect of an election rather than the different positions represented by the candidates. Of course, seeing as both candidates work for the same guys, there's not really much difference. Gay-friendly corporatism or bible-thumping corporatism, you're getting your corporatism like you're getting your spam in that Python skit.
It would not be impossible to imagine Snowden as ignorant of the enormity of what he was about to do, not fully aware of the consequences. I doubt Manning imagined what he would be facing when he leaked.
If he was aware of the consequences, then he would have to be a special kind of motivated. He would then be a martyr. He may not yet be dead but life as he knew it is over. Just having convictions doesn't always mean you're right. Timothy McVeigh was a martyr, just as much as your typical suicide bomber.
I don't think anyone in their right mind would volunteer for what Snowden has signed up for. Most of us are sensible cowards.
Just because someone dies for their beliefs doesn't mean we have to condone them. Snake-handling Christians die for their beliefs all the time. Same with Christian Scientists refusing medicine, government-hating gun nuts who go after cops as well as civil rights protesters, activists like Rachel Corrie, etc. It's up to us to decide the worth of the sacrifice, whether it is courage or some kind of crazy.
Ignorant or crazy, it doesn't really matter at this point. What do the facts he leaked say? If someone got away with murder for twenty years and he cheated on his wife and she went to the police with incriminating evidence as the jilted party, do we ignore the crime?