More Americans see NSA whistleblower as patriot than traitor

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Sedition is one of our healthier traditions

Roughly one in three Americans say the former security contractor who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance activity is a patriot and should not be prosecuted, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll…

Some 23 percent of those surveyed said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.

Snowden…revealed last week that the NSA is monitoring a wide swath of telephone and Internet activity as part of its counterterrorism efforts.

“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American,” Snowden told the South China Post…

46% probably can’t ever recall reading the Bill of Rights.

In the Reuters/Ipsos poll, 35 percent of those surveyed said Snowden should not face charges while 25 percent said he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Another 40 percent said they did not know

Snowden’s revelations, first reported by Britain’s Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post, have fueled a national discussion over how the United States should balance its national security efforts with Americans’ right to privacy…

A petition urging President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden for any crimes he may have committed has collected 63,000 signatures on the White House website since it was posted by a reader on Sunday. The White House reviews and responds to any petition that gathers more than 100,000 signatures.

Reuters/Ipsos polling conducted since the leaks were revealed last Thursday have found Americans divided over the merits of the NSA surveillance program.

Some 45 percent of those surveyed say the program is acceptable under some circumstances, while 37 percent say it is completely unacceptable, the polling found. Only 6 percent say they have no objections to the program.

The saddest part of this survey is the proportion of Americans who apparently never concern their passive little lives with questions about privacy, the responsibility and uses of freedom, oversight of government in a republican electoral system.

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One comment

  1. List of X

    I’m the 46%. I am very concerned about my privacy, read the Bill of Rights, and have been following the Snowden story. Yet the more I learn about Snowden and surveillance program, the less I’m sure whether Snowden is a patriot or a traitor.

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