Rep. Mike Pompeo doesn’t want Edward Snowden on the schedule at South by Southwest, and he’s taking the event’s planners to task for inviting him in the first place.Rep. Pompeo does not get it. It is exactly because of members of Congress like him not doing his job in protecting the privacy rights of Americans from the NSA's snooping that Snowden's efforts became necessary.
In a letter from Pompeo’s office, he requested the NSA leaker’s invitation to speak via telecast at the annual Texas event be withdrawn, lest it encourage “lawless behavior” among attendees.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas)
Mr. Snowden’s appearance would stamp the imprimatur of your fine organization on a man who ill deserves such accolades,” the Kansas Republican wrote. “Rewarding Mr. Snowden’s behavior in this way encourages the very lawlessness he exhibited.”
Snowden is set to appear at the Austin festival Monday at 11 a.m. for a discussion about personal privacy and surveillance with American Civil Liberties Union technologist Christopher Soghoian. The conversation will focus on the National Security Agency’s activities, and audience members will have a chance to ask Snowden questions.
Pompeo, who is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote that the inclusion of Snowden in the event’s lineup “undermines the very fairness and freedom that SXSW and the ACLU purport to foster.”
Pompeo outlined grievances against Snowden, such as caring more about personal fame than the cause he represents, and giving real whistleblowers a bad name. Snowden remains in exile in Russia.
“Certainly an organization of your caliber can attract experts on these topics with knowledge superior to a man who was hired as a systems administrator and whose only apparent qualification is his willingness to steal from his own government and then flee to that beacon of First Amendment freedoms, the Russia of Vladimir Putin,” Pompeo wrote.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Congressman Wants Invitation to Snowden to Speak on Privacy Issues to Be Withdrawn