“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American,” Snowden told the South China Post, an English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, in an interview published on Wednesday. [Reuters]
CHARACTERIZATIONS of Edward Snowden are running wild across the media, which exploded when Rep. Peter King called him a traitor, then doubled his idiocy by saying Glenn Greenwald should be arrested, tried and punished for committing an act of independent journalism. Peter King evidently expects journalists to get all their information from White House schmooze fests that are deemed too precious to be on the record.
Peter King flat out lied about what Glenn Greenwald said, which Greenwald made clear with Chris Hayes last night.
Well, this is just a lie—Greenwald hasn’t “threatened to disclose” the names of CIA assets. He’s written and spoken maybe 100,000 words since the story broke (only a few more than he usually utters in a week), and he’s never said this. Maybe King is feeling rote, though, because this is always his response to a national security story. – Dave Weigel
Vice President Joe Biden used to think secret surveillance was bad, but that was during the Bush-Cheney Administration. This illustrates the hypocrisy of elite establishment Democrats on this issue, starting with Senator Diane Feinstein, who is the bookend to Rep. Peter King. Establishment players like Peter King and Diane Feinstein don’t like Snowden’s leaks, because it shows them out for being lazy and nonchalant with the privacy of average Americans.
Gallup came out with a poll proving that the majority of Americans disapprove of the Obama administration’s secret surveillance programs.
Reuters/IPSOS polling has more discouraging news for Peter King and company.
Roughly one in three Americans say the former security contractor who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance activity is a patriot and should not be prosecuted, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.
Some 23 percent of those surveyed said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.
Time magazine represents my thoughts, which is I support the leaker, because he did this country and the citizens a great service, but he absolutely must pay the price for his courage. It is courage, you know, because Edward Snowden put his life and freedom on the line for our privacy and to expose the vast overreach by the Obama administration, which began under Bush-Cheney. That doesn’t mean breaking the law to do so exempts him from punishment.
While media race to defame Andrew Snowden, who knew from the start he will have to face the consequences of his actions, no one seems to understand that a person doesn’t need a Ph.D. to know the difference between right and wrong, any more than you need to be over 21 to realize that the authority in your life is secretly snooping and invading your privacy.
We were all teenagers and likely know teens who act out when this happens. If there was ever a time for the American public to act out it is now. As a fairly young country compared to world history, I’d say America’s teen life is beginning and Edward Snowden, and liberals like myself with strong libertarian streaks, are rightly pissed off.
It also doesn’t say anything about the Obama administration’s secret snooping to investigate Snowden’s girlfriend, who is a private citizen completely uninvolved in what her boyfriend decided to unleash. Hey, but if it brings web hits and eyes to the TV screen, it’s all in a day’s business.
As for Rep. Peter King taking on Glenn Greenwald, go for it. Prosecuting journalists is just another example of why Congress is generally disrespected and totally feckless.
The Senate won’t even side with female soldiers who are victims of sexual assault, but instead continue to back the good old boys’ club.
For all these reasons the American public feels there is no one really looking out for what’s important to our lives in the modern era.
We the people are becoming increasingly restless about this reality every time we are reminded we’ve lost more control over our private lives.
What’s even more disturbing to many liberals, even if unsurprising, is that Barack Obama, a constitutional lawyer who railed against Bush-Cheney just like Joe Biden, is leading the charge, making it very clear that neither big political party is interested in how the American public is feeling about it all.
“Americans are understandably concerned that the fundamental American right to privacy is no more,” said Marci Kaminsky, senior vice president of public relations for Allstate Insurance Company. “A majority of Americans aren’t happy or comfortable about the collection and use of their personal information, and they have mixed feelings about whether they can trust that their information is being used responsibly. Protecting privacy and rebuilding trust with Americans will require shared accountability and compromise among the public and private sectors, as well as among individual citizens.”
“This survey found Americans teetering between anticipation and anxiety as they sort through the implications of the brave new world of communications, connectivity, and surveillance,” added Ronald Brownstein, editorial director of Atlantic Media. “Just as revealing, follow-up interviews with respondents found that many people feel as if they have no real opportunity to personally determine whether the benefits of the new communications world justify the cost: since few see opting out of the Internet and connectivity revolution as a real option, many of those interviewed project the sense that the erosion of privacy is another broad trend, like the decline of employment security, that is being imposed on average Americans by forces beyond their control. In that way, these new findings strongly echo perhaps the central chord of the previous 16 Heartland Monitor surveys: the widespread belief among Americans that they are ‘paddling alone’ without support from any institution as they navigate the turbulence of modern life.”
[New Poll Shows Americans Anxious About Privacy - From Allstate, the Atlantic and the National Journal]