Edward Snowden Approval Poll, Critics and Supporters Speak

snowden

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been the subject of judgement since he leaked classified documents detailing U.S. mass surveillance programs run by the NSA late last fall, and now a CBS approval poll and the statements of critics and supporters this week have shown that the jury is still out regarding Snowden.

Is Snowden a hero or dissident, a whistleblower or a spy, a traitor or a patriot? The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked Americans what they thought of Snowden between Jan. 15 and 19. Of Pew’s 1500 randomly selected adults, 56 percent wanted to see the U.S. prosecute Snowden legally; 32 percent opposed legal prosecution. Pew found that 45 percent of the participants in their survey thought that Snowden’s actions served public interest while 43 percent believed his leaks harmed American interests.

Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) recently made statements in a TV interview that Edward Snowden was working with Russia before Snowden began his fugitive asylum in Moscow. Edward Snowden replied to Rep. Rogers in a rare interview published in The New Yorker Tuesday. Snowden denied the allegations, calling them absurd and making fun of similar accusations made against him in recent months. Snowden also questioned the editorial position of the media outlets responsible for the smears against him, who, Snowden claimed, published speculative allegations without providing any factual basis to credit them. Snowden pointed to the seriousness of holding to account both public representatives who make, and media organizations who publish, baseless statements because the perceptions of the American public depend on these sources of information.

The senior security contributor for CBS News, Michael Morell, who is also a former Deputy Director of the CIA and who served on President Obama’s task force on surveillance, made statements that refuted Rogers’ claim. Morell said that U.S. intelligence believed that Snowden did not work with any outside source, and that there was “no evidence” to the contrary.

President Obama, in his Jan. 17 speech on American surveillance, criticized Edward Snowden for publicly disclosing secret U.S. information. Obama said that the leaks were “not worth the damage done, because there was another way of doing it,” and characterized Snowden’s actions as shedding “more heat than light.”

Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, added her voice to the chorus against Snowden. Snowden’s leaks hurt Australian politics by showing that Australian spies had targeted the president of Indonesia, a main trading partner of Australia. On Bishop’s recent visit to Washington, the Foreign Minister visited U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice and at a keynote address to an Alliance 21 conference, Bishop derided Snowden for betraying his nation and committing “unprecedented treachery.” She characterized Snowden’s exile as “skulking” in Russia. Bishop expressed faith in the joint intelligence operations relationship between the U.S. and Australia and stated that the purpose of such operations was “about saving lives.” Bishop declared that Edward Snowden was “no hero.”

Dr. Ron Paul spoke out in a television commentary to defend Snowden, however, calling Snowden a hero and stating that Snowden was closer to the Constitution than the “clowns” in Washington. Paul cited the President’s use of “kill lists,” publicized in The New York Times in 2012 as a contrast to Snowden’s actions. Paul also took aim at the President’s NSA speech, calling out the President for condemning Snowden while praising the idea of the public debate that is taking place in America over Fourth Amendment rights. Paul pointed to the NSA for blame, saying that the NSA overstepped their proper limitations and violated Americans’ rights.

In spite of the statements of critics and supporters, and in spite of the judgment of approval poll participants, Edward Snowdens are in demand in America and worldwide, as leakers have become celebrities and heroes to many.  It is uncertain how the trend might be reversed, as so-called information-liberators have shown that they prefer leaking classified documents to protecting their own safety and security, let alone prosperity. Edward Snowden was earning  six figures before he chose his current life of exile and persecution.  Booz Allen Hamilton, the security contracting firm for which Snowden worked, is currently seeking to hire an Insider Threat Analyst to identify future Snowdens before they become leakers.

By Day Blakely Donaldson

New Yorker
CBS
Radio Australia
Red Alert Politics
Kulture Kritic

RSS Guardian Express

  • Autism and the Challenges of Easter April 18, 2014
    For most families living with an autistic loved one, everyday holds certain demands. Holidays, like Easter, provide even further challenges for those with autism. The traditions most people take for granted must be approached from a unique perspective. Zack, who is 11 years old, is moderate to high-functoning on the Autism Spectrum. He loves the […]
    Stacy Lamy
  • Peaches Geldof Funeral Arrangements Shared April 18, 2014
    The funeral arrangements for Peaches Geldof have been shared by her family. It will be a private funeral on Easter Monday (April 21), and will be held in the same church as her mother’s funeral. St. Mary Magdalene and St. Lawrence Church in Davington is also the same church that the 25-year-old socialite married and […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Game of Thrones Spoilers Ruining the Experience? April 18, 2014
    Sharing spoilers of Game of Thrones is ruining the experience for some people. They do not want to know what happens in the episodes before they get a chance to see it themselves. The issue reached its peak so far this week after many publications started sharing the events of the “Purple Wedding” just after […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Game of Thrones Spoilers Lead to Arguments Online April 18, 2014
    The internet has been surrounded with Game of Thrones spoilers this week that include the death of a certain character, and it has led to arguments online. Many people who have not read the books or seen the episode yet have gotten annoyed at publications for sharing the details of the character’s death, and even […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Miley Cyrus Hits Out at Hospital Rumors April 18, 2014
    Miley Cyrus has hit out at rumors suggesting her recent trip to hospital was due to her partying ways. A number of publications decided to jump on the idea that the 21-year-old was out partying in a way to get over the recent death of her dog, Floyd. In a statement, which she linked to […]
    Alexandria Ingham

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 626 other subscribers

Quantcast