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January 17th, 2014
09:40 PM ET

Is Snowden a spy?

On tonight's Crossfire, guests Laura Murphy of the ACLU and former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge disagree over NSA leaker, Edward Snowden's, true motives.

Newt Gingrich also says he doesn't mind that the U.S. spies on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Laura Murphy of the ACLU: We're living in an Orwellian time
Murphy says we are living in an Orwellian time where data on our every movement is collected and story and this is "inappropriate." Do you agree with her?

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Filed under: Debates • Laura Murphy • NSA • NSA leak • Stephanie Cutter • Tom Ridge
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. James

    When the "Patriot Acts" were passed by congress a number of citizen advocacy groups protested, citing the very type of abuses that Snowden and others made public. GW Bush's response at that time was, "What? Who's rights are being violated?"

    The debate on this on this subject is all wrong. It should be focused on how members of congress could fail so dismally live up to the oath they took to preserve protect and defend the Constitution.

    Snowden and others should be pardoned for this - for doing the very thing congress and Bush should have done to begin with.

    January 22, 2014 at 8:40 am | Reply
  2. d.jones

    The Government needs to bring him back and use him for our safety. I am so happy he blew the whistle. We should know what is going on with our privacy. It would be sad to hear about yourself on the internet or you tubes with out any knowledge someone is watching you. Let the boy come home. He is brilliant.

    January 21, 2014 at 9:49 am | Reply
  3. Scott

    Some believe Snowden is Obama's inside man.

    January 21, 2014 at 2:45 am | Reply
  4. Raven

    Snowden is a hero and a whistleblower. The government is just trying to save face.

    January 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  5. harry

    I see Obama's govt trolls are here trying their best to make Mr Snowden out to be the bad guy. yawn zzzzzzzzzzzz

    January 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  6. Gunderson

    Humm,
    You put Julian Assage, Bradly Manning and Edward Snowden together and you almost get a Half-Wit. Talk about the Keystone Cops!

    January 20, 2014 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • camarocowboy51

      You can't lump Assange and Manning in with Snowden.I've listened to Snowden and I believe him that he tried to go through the proper channels and he couldn't get anybody to listen to him.I WANTED FOR SOMEONE TO CONFIRM that OUR GOVERNMENT is SPYING on US!I don't think he should be called a hero but I don't think he is a traitor either.He felt that he needed to be safe from physical harm.If you knew what he did,would you feel safe?Maybe the young man was in such a fear for his life that he thought that he had to take drastic measures and it sure doesn't help that high ranking people are calling him a traitor.He thinks he was doing common hardworking Americans a favor by telling them what our government is doing to us.

      June 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  7. Kurt

    Well... what are our options for Snowden.

    1. Is he a whistleblower? I have trouble with this one. He didn't get his clearance with the intent to actually perform the job then released the secret information because of what he saw. He sought out the clearance with the sole purpose of getting and leaking the information. That doesn't fit the picture of "whistleblower" that I've always had.

    2. Is he a reporter? No, this doesn't fit either... both because he wasn't employed by the media and because he fled with the information. A reporter would have no need to flee... he'd publish and be protected by the constitution (as the papers who DID publish Snowden's information have done).

    So what does that leave? I'm not sure if Spy is the correct word... but it's definitely criminal. If someone went to work for a company under false pretenses in order to get access then released their corporate secrets on the internet, they'd get their pants sued off at the least and likely end up in prison. I'm not sure why doing the same thing if your employer is the US government is excuseable.

    January 20, 2014 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • WAYNE

      A spy? Look how the fascists criminalize those who reveal the law breakers.

      January 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • Kurt

        But the government wasn't breaking any laws.

        You can say the laws giving them the ability to do what they did are bad laws... but the only crime involved here was a man who lied about his motives in order to get access to classified documents, then released those documents despite being legally bound not to do so.

        Now you may say that the information needed to be leaked... but you can't excuse illegal actions by saying that a moral belief that breaking the law is necessary is an excuse to avoid prosecution. Let's say someone finds abortion morally wrong... so they blow up an abortion clinic. Is that excusable?

        Because it's the same logic.

        Snowden willfully misled his employers with the sole purpose of gaining access to classified documents in order to disclose them to the public. That sounds a lot like espionage to me.

        January 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
    • camarocowboy51

      You're out of your mind if you don't think that it's CRIMINAL for the government to be SPYING on us everyday AMERICANS.You'de probably say "Go ahead and spy on me, I have nothing to hide!" That's like letting the wolf take over for the shepard.Oh, you go ahead Mr. Wolf,i know you only want to sort out the bad sheep!You better wake up sir!

      June 2, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  8. Jamie Estevez

    This government is so full of it.... It makes me want to vomit. God bless and protect Edward Snowden for shedding light on some of the Fed's crimes against the Constitution.

    January 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  9. Blackie

    They'll find his body in a dumpster one day.

    January 19, 2014 at 6:34 am | Reply
  10. farquhar1623

    He is a traitor.

    January 19, 2014 at 1:08 am | Reply
  11. elbon

    Eldon's a hero. Crossfire is a shill for the Democrats.

    January 18, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  12. jack zadeh

    hi gingrich
    he is not spy and he did not give to nobody information...... all he was public.... he can proof...........they give u wrong information ................ thank u.................if u have any question u can ask me....if they give me permission"""""""""""""""""'you can talk also abut global warming.........

    January 18, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  13. Hank

    Yep, I have no doubt he took his job for purely snooping purposes and infiltrated the data to deliberately release the info. Whether you think he's a hero or not doesn't really matter at this point. But if I were other countries I'd be very careful about what type of job you let this guy ever have. For all we know, he's a double agent.

    January 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  14. hellsyeahs

    Funny how teahadists call Manning a traitor yet Snowden (who handed off US secrets to China and Russia) is a hero.

    January 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • bill.x

      U R correct, he is a no good fucing spy.

      January 20, 2014 at 8:13 am | Reply
    • WAYNE

      Fact check. He handed nothing off to China/Russia.

      January 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  15. MAX

    Yes he is a spy.

    January 18, 2014 at 9:33 am | Reply

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