Snowden’s claims of ‘victory’ slammed by lawmakers

Edward Snowden (Guardian/London)

Edward Snowden (Guardian/London)

Members of Congress said Sunday they weren’t impressed with Edward Snowden’s recent publicity blitz calling for an end to mass surveillance and declaring that he’s already accomplished his mission.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California acknowledged that Snowden has kindled an important public debate, but he said the former National Security Agency leaker should have stayed in the United States to demonstrate the courage of his convictions.

Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Snowden’s release of classified documents jeopardized the safety of troops in Afghanistan and gave nations such as China and Russia valuable insight into how America’s intelligence services operate. “That’s who the messenger is,” Rogers said.

The two, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” were responding to Snowden’s recent comments from Russia in a 14-hour interview with The Washington Post that he was working to make the NSA better, not tear it down. Snowden also made remarks in a video provided to a television station in the United Kingdom.

Schiff said it struck him that Snowden spoke from “one of the foremost big brother states in the world, where he is living without any privacy, because there’s no right or expectation of privacy in Russia whatsoever. So I don’t find his message particularly moving or appealing.”

Ben Wizner of the ACLU, who said he speaks regularly with Snowden over encrypted channels, said Snowden hopes to one day return to the United States. He said the charges brought against Snowden for espionage don’t distinguish between leaks to the press and the selling of state secrets to a foreign enemy. If the law allowed him to make a defense that he acted in the public’s interest, “he would face trial in that kind of system,” Wizner said.

“For now, he doesn’t believe and I don’t believe that the cost of his act of conscience should be a life behind bars,” said Wizner, who appeared Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

Snowden declared in the newspaper interview he’d “already won” and achieved what he set out to do. Wizner said Snowden’s mission was to bring the public, the courts and lawmakers into a conversation about the NSA’s work.

“He did his part,” Wizner said. “It’s now up to the public and our institutional oversight to decide how to respond.”
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Copyright  © 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2013 The Associated Press  All Rights Reserved.

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12 Responses to "Snowden’s claims of ‘victory’ slammed by lawmakers"

  1. Helen Rainier  December 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

    It’s funny that these guys diss Snowden for not staying here. Hell, he wouldn’t have been treated fairly for outing Big Brother. These comments from our members of Congress who can’t/won’t meet with constitutents except under strictly controlled settings and who are beholden to the same people/organizations who are doing the spying is nothing short of bull shit.

  2. David  December 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Sore losers.

  3. SDRSr  December 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    “Snowden hopes to one day return to the United States.”

    As far as I’m concerned, we do not want him. He is just like the cowards that ran and hid in other countries to dodge the draft during Viet Nam. While those with the courage of their convictions stayed and opposed the system in court, for example Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. now this man is a hero. Snowden is just a disgrace.

  4. Bill Cravener  December 31, 2013 at 5:11 am

    This traitor should be executed if and when the US gets him back to the States for running like a coward to China and Russia. There was a time when traitors like Edward Snowden who gave away national security information to our enemies would be executed. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are two examples of how we use to deal with such traitors.

    • David  December 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were given a trial. Or did you forget that inconvenient fact? Sorry to say, thanks to Congress and people like yourself, a fair trial is not possible for Snowden anymore. So your blood lust will not be satisfied.

      • Jon  January 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm

        They were. But nobody in Guantanamo Bay prison was. Some have been released without charges; Some are still there. Just thrown in jail and left there for years. Not even alleged terrorists – No charges have been filed – They were just scooped up off the streets and thrown in jail.

        Furthermore, who’s the criminal here? Those who did the criminal activities, or he who pointed out to the world that criminal activity was going on?

  5. woody188  December 31, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Snowden has a higher approval rating than Congress.

  6. Keith  December 31, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Each member of the US Congress took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, both foreign AND domestic.”

    And, unlike some posting here, as far as I’m concerned, the same US Congresspersons who are now slamming Mr. Snowden are the ones who need to be thrown in jail, not him.

    For, not only has the US Congress allowed, but they have actually ENCOURAGED the utter shredding of the 4th amendment, all in the name of lining their own filthy pockets with campaign cash from those same “contractors” (and others) now perpetrating this blatantly unconstitutional scourge on the American people..

    In my eyes, it’s the vermin now sitting in the US CONGRESS who are the REAL traitors in all this, NOT Mr. Snowden!

  7. Carl Nemo **==  December 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Superbly stated Keith. I concur totally. : )

  8. Keith  January 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Clearly, you and I are (once again) in “violent agreement” that truth has now become treason in an empire of lies.

  9. Bill Cravener  January 2, 2014 at 6:22 am

    A patriot would have stood his ground by standing up to those whom he has accused. A patriot would have found a reputable way in his own country in revealing perceived transgressions upon our liberties. A patriot would not flee the country with secrets in tow by hiding in China then Russia. A patriot would not offer to sell themselves to foreign countries then take victory laps on world media sites. Snowden is nothing more then a cowardly friend of every country but his own. Snowden is a traitor in the truest sense of the word. It is despicable that his actions are celebrated by some.

  10. Carl Nemo **==  January 2, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Hi Bill…

    What you say is true, but you are referencing an America of honorable men and women; I.E., times past.

    With the scoflaws we now have in Congress relative to honoring our founding document, a guy like Snowden or any other whistle blower doesn’t stand a chance. This elected contingent of “vermin” as Keith so appropriately references will use every measure of the laws they pass to protect their ‘game’ and position. Edward Snowden’s path was the only intelligent way to destabilize their anti-constitutional surveillance schemes. Notice I wrote anti and not “un”. Everyday in every way they pass laws that enable them trowel in the final bricks of our electronic prison, once the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave, now simply a corpo-fascist caricature of the freedom Americans once enjoyed.

    Unfortunately the aforementioned Congressional “vermin” are so entrenched an protected by their statist friendly laws, that little to no change will be initiated. Right now Senator Feinstein et al. are gaming the game by creating a false sense of change when in effect they are immunizing the NSA et al. agencies from further serious scutiny. They are simply re-packaging the surveillance programs. Snowden wouldn’t have stood a chance challenging the programs and the elitists who foist them upon us.

    Terrorists are not the enemy, but in the times, “We the People”, the citizens who pay the freight for these programs. They want to keep a close watch on their ‘hive’. /:|

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