What our elected officials think of Edward Snowden - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

What our elected officials think of Edward Snowden

Posted: Updated:
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - When they write the book on Edward Snowden, you have to wonder which chapter he will end up in?  The one with Rosa Parks, the freedom rider who broke the law  to advance the civil rights movement or the one on Benedict Arnold the notorious traitor who joined the British Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Since the young Mr. Snowden decided to break the law and release a ton of classified documents, the public debate has focused on one question: Is he a traitor and a patriot?

The public opinion poll by the Huffington Post two months ago found 31% felt he did the right thing, 33% did not and 36% were not sure.

But nobody has really quizzed our elected officials on what they think.

Take U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow who chose her words very carefully as she waded into the back and forth.

“I think what he should have done is stayed in the Unites States and fought it out like other Americans instead of leaving and going to Russia,” she begins.

Mr. Snowden says he did what he did because he wanted the American citizens to know how pervasive the secret surveillance was and what impact it was having on civil liberties.  And 53% of the citizens believe they have a right to know who is spying on whom.

Ms. Stabenow, who is privy to closed door briefings on the data collected by the CIA, NSA and who knows how many other secret federal agencies, admits his actions have “elevated” the issue but “I also think he is dealing with information and tactics and giving it away to folks that we certainly don’t want to have them."

Having said that she declines to call him a traitor.

Macomb County executive and former sheriff Mark Hackel did.

 “I think anybody who provides information to others that is guarded information…boy, I tell you to me that would be someone who would be a traitor.”

Reminded that Mr. Snowden said he was doing it for the good of the country, Mr. Hackel would have none of that either. “I don’t buy that.”

This country has a long history of individual citizens willing to break the law for a cause.  They often times were punished but in the long run that behavior resulted in social changes.  Even the Snowden disclosures have produced some changes in the surveillance laws. During his interview with NBC news Mr. Snowden did not call himself a martyr but clearly he was at peace with himself.

Michigan’s governor declined to take a stance on federal spying into private lives. I’m going to “stay in my own lane…I don’t see any value in…” thus he declined to label Mr. Snowden one thing or another. But he does acknowledge “we need to be thoughtful” and do a “balancing act” on intelligence gathering and the privacy rights of citizens especially in this hi-tech society.

The governor says he has looked into state police activities in this regard.  The agency does use the Internet to fight crime often going to Facebook and other social media to track down criminals.  That does not compare to the feds reading emails and listening in on phone calls without a court order.

It may surprise you, however, to discover what the police can legally do when confronting a potential criminal on the other end of the computer screen. If the suspect asks if the other person is a police officer, the courts have said, law enforcement does not have to tell the truth.

By the way the governor thought the questions on NSA spying were good ones even though he punted.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • PoliticalMore>>

  • Biden voices support for Georgia's NATO wishes

    Biden voices support for Georgia's NATO wishes

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:04:38 GMT
    Vice President Joe Biden tells Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili that he supports the former Soviet republic's desire to join NATO. Georgia's aspirations to join the Western alliance are a sore...
    Vice President Joe Biden tells Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili that he supports the former Soviet republic's desire to join NATO. Georgia's aspirations to join the Western alliance are a sore point with...
  • Obama's vacations in line with US average

    Obama's vacations in line with US average

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:45:34 GMT
    Criticized whenever he goes on vacation, President Barack Obama is on par with most Americans, who average four leisure trips a year, travel industry data shows.
    Criticized whenever he goes on vacation, President Barack Obama is on par with most Americans, who average four leisure trips a year, travel industry data shows.
  • Dempsey hits Islamic militant 'end-of-days' vision

    Dempsey hits Islamic militant 'end-of-days' vision

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:07:42 GMT
    America's top-ranked military officer says the surging Islamic State group has an "apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision" in the Middle East and cannot be defeated unless the United States and a coalition...
    America's top-ranked military officer says the surging Islamic State group has an "apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision" in the Middle East and cannot be defeated unless the United States and a coalition of...
  • PoliticsPoliticsMore>>

  • Election info for 2014 Michigan primaries

    Election info for 2014 Michigan primaries

    Tuesday, August 5 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-08-05 19:41:25 GMT
    Polls are open until 8 p.m.  Go inside this story to find out where you need to go to vote and get information on some of the top races and issues.
    Polls are open until 8 p.m.  Go inside this story to find out where you need to go to vote and get information on some of the top races and issues.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices