Isn’t it interesting that people coming out to condemn Snowden as a traitor also claim that what he allegedly leaked isn’t true? How can he be a traitor for “leaking” false information? At worst, he’d be guilty of fraud. At best, he’d be no more than a prankster. If what he leaked is not true.
But people in government and in media are calling for his execution, all while claiming he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The CIA claims he never worked for them, and besides, they wouldn’t have hired a high school dropout like Snowden. “But he’s still a traitor,” they say. You can’t have it both ways.
Pelosi said that what Edward Snowden did in exposing some of the phone and electronic surveillance practices of the NSA is prosecutable under the PATRIOT Act and FISA, under sections 215 and 702, respectively. The Huffington Post summarized each of those sections:
“Section 215 is the part of the law that allows the agency to record the so-called metadata of every phone call in the country and hold the data for five years. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is the part of law that allows the NSA to monitor Internet activity.”
But at the same time, she claims that what Snowden said isn’t even true:
“While Pelosi thought Snowden should be prosecuted, she also argued that the programs he revealed were not actually spying on Americans. ‘That is not what either of these bills do,’ she said. ‘There are many protections for the American people, including strengthening the privacy and civil liberties board… Liberty is very important to us and privacy is essential to liberty… How on earth can we have a situation where we are so vulnerable, so exposed, with so much information about how we acquire intelligence, to the point that the head of the [Director of National Intelligence] is saying that it seriously hurt our national security?’”
How did it hurt our national security for Snowden to leak supposedly false information? Are terrorists going to have an easier time attacking us, now that they have false information about how our government gathers intelligence?
Or, is what Snowden said true, and this double-talk is just the government’s way of telling government employees, “You’d better watch out. If you try to expose us, we will treat you like a traitor and work to discredit everything you say.” Knowing this government’s penchant for intimidation, I’d say that’s precisely what’s going on.