Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 9, 2013. (AP Photo/The Guardian) MANDATORY CREDIT
Lawmakers dispute Snowden’s declaration of victory
First Published Dec 29 2013 03:55 pm • Last Updated Dec 29 2013 04:08 pm

Washington • 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.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

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 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.