WASHINGTON (AP) – 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.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon