Beltway Pundits Vilify Edward Snowden, While Dismissing the Threat of the NSA's Surveillance Programs to Democracy He Exposed

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Posted June 19, 2013

Interview with Norman Solomon, author and activist, conducted by Scott Harris

NSA

American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the U.S. government’s previously unknown massive collection of domestic and overseas phone and internet communications continues to be a topic of sometimes heated debate. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and other media pundits have accused Snowden of being a traitor, while many civil liberties advocates laud him as a hero.

One National Security Agency program described by Snowden collects and archives phone records of millions of Americans, while the other, codenamed PRISM, reportedly mines emails and other communications from foreign targets by directly tapping into the databases of Internet providers like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and AOL.

The 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and recent employee of NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton continues to talk with the press from his current location in Hong Kong. He said one of his reasons for releasing the NSA secret documents related to what he believed were President Obama’s broken campaign promises to investigate systemic violations of the law under President Bush, while deepening and expanding several of these same programs. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on June 18, NSA Director General Keith Alexander tried to bolster the White House defense of the spy programs when he told legislators that his agency’s surveillance programs have helped to foil 50 potential terrorist events since the Sept. 11th attacks. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with author and activist Norman Solomon, who examines the current public debate on Edward Snowden’s role in the release of information on the government’s secret blanket surveillance of phone and Internet communications.

Norman Solomon is a former California congressional candidate, co-founder of RootsAction.org and author of “War Made Easy, How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning us to Death.” Find links to Solomon’s recent articles at NormonSolomon.com.

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