Monday, June 10, 2013

Are Calls for Eugene Snowden's Prosecution Based on His Leak Endangering National Security or His Leak Embarassing Public Officials?

Watching the Sunday morning news shows, I heard a number of Republicans and Democrats members of congressional intelligence committees who were united in their call for Eugene Snowden recently came out and admitted that he was the one who leaked information on the massive government program.  The Guardian which originally broke the story, describes the program which was authorized via court order:
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an
Eugene Snowden
"ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems
, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
Snowden provided the "Top Secret" court order to Guardian's reporters as well as possibly other information about the program.

One thing struck me about the members of Congress and administration officials calling for Snowden's vigorous prosecution for having violated federal law in disclosing the order and the existence of the program.  They appeared not to be acting out of concern that Americans were endangered or even that making public the existence of the program would blunt efforts to counter terrorism.  Instead they seem motivated by the fact,that Snowden had embarrassed them publicly by making public the existence of a program that may well be unconstitutional or at least outside the range of what Congress had approved in the Patriot Act.  Snowden exposed members of the congressional intelligence committees who were not doing their job which includes protecting people's civil liberties.  Now Congress should do what it can do and put a stop to any attempt to prosecute Snowden for his courageous action.

3 comments:

Nicolas Martin said...
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Nicolas Martin said...

Fine piece on Snowdon by the heroic Daniel Ellsberg.

Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America

http://gu.com/p/3gefb

"In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago."

The Obama liberals are tongue-tied, for the most part. Aside from the anomaly of Vietnam, the international war state has been largely expanded and controlled by liberals since Woodrow Wilson.

Brad said...
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