Snowden leaks were “public service,” says former US Attorney General || News World #PizzaGate #Corruption #Wikileaks ( NOT #FakeNews)



Snowden leaks were “public service,” says former US Attorney General || News World
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Former US Attorney General Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a public service by setting off a national debate over global surveillance, but that the fugitive must still face the consequences for leaking classified information.
We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made, Mr. Holder told David Axelrod, a former senior advisor to President Obama, in an episode of his podcast The Axe Files” released on Monday.
But Mr. Snowden has broken the law in my view, Holder added. I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done, he said, encouraging the former government contractor to return from exile, face prosecution or cut a deal.
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Holder’s comments represent a departure from the attitude of President Obama and his administration, who say that Mr. Snowden is not a patriot his National Security Agency leaks compromised the White House’s efforts to reform the Agency, and hindered “thoughtful fact-based debate that would then lead us to a better place,” as Mr. Obama said in August 2013.
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Yet Holder’s emphasis that Snowden ought to face prosecution is part of a recurring debate over whether the man sometimes considered a heroic whistleblower, sometimes a traitor should still be punished if he, in fact, served public interests.
In 2013, Snowden leaked thousands of classified documents from the NSA, which revealed numerous global surveillance programs, including the collection of vast amounts of phone and Internet data. Facing three felonies, Snowden has lived in Russia ever since.
Speaking via videoconference in February, Snowden told a crowd in New Hampshire he would return to the United States if the government guaranteed him a fair trial, where he could argue a public interest defense of why this was done and allow a jury to decide as The Christian Science Monitor’s Lonnie Shekhtman reported in February.
Two of the felonies fall under the Espionage Act, which “bars defendants from arguing that their actions were made in the public interest, effectively leaving national security and intelligence community whistleblowers without any legal protections,Ms. Shekhtman wrote.
In his interview with Mr. Axelrod, Holder indicated that any judge that sentences Snowden should be able to consider his contribution to the debate about surveillance. Yet, Holder is no longer a part of the Obama Administration, and his successor hasn’t implied that she agrees.
Snowden leaks were “public service,” says former US Attorney General || News World
Last July, Holder said he believed a plea deal with Snowden could be possible. A spokeswoman for US Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded by saying the administration still intends to prosecute Snowden, however.
Members of Congress are of different opinions, as well. Although a Republican and Democratic senator agreed in 2014 on the need to reform the NSA, they didn’t see eye to eye on Snowden’s treatment. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told an interviewer that Snowden should not receive a death penalty or life in prison.
I think, really, in the end, history’s going to judge that he revealed great abuses of our government and great abuses of our intelligence community, Senator Rand told ABC’s This Week.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer, however, said that if Snowden truly considers himself part of the grand tradition of civil disobedience in this country he should stand trial and face the consequences.
Snowden leaks were “public service,” says former US Attorney General || News World
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