NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a national Rorshchach test. Reactions to his mega-leak about mega-data-mining, etc. -- Big Gov intrusions I cannot reject strongly enough -- have revealed divisions among allies, and bonds among adversaries. While the libertarian/Republican split is predictable, some of the results are suprising, and many have yet to come in. Many commentators are withholding judgement. My thoughts are here.
From what I can glean, some conservatives seem sympathetic to a point given their natural reflex against the federal government's flouting of the Fourth Amendment with these mass seizures of US citizens' electronic records. Among these it seems fair to include Rush Limbaugh, who points out the real danger is Obama, not Snowden. This is a theme Mark Levin is hitting, even as he disparages Snowden as "some little jerk."
As you notice additional notables passing judgment, I will update the list if you send them in to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's a partial rundown of who has jumped in first.
Glenn Beck: "I think I have just read about the man for which I have waited. Earmarks of a real hero."
Michael Moore: "Hero of the year."
Ron Paul: “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.”
Julian Assange: "Hero" for revealing "creeping formulaton of a mass surveillance state."
Daniel Ellsburg: "Hero." "Snowden reveals that the so-called intelligence community has become the United Stasi of America."
Andrew Napolitano: "An American hero."
68 percent of Fox News online poll: "Hero."
Interestingly enough, in the state-by-state breakout, Fox poll voters in Virginia offered Snowden what seems to be the weakest support in the nation with only 52 percent labeling him a hero. Virginia once led the nascent united states to push for what became the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures. Today, it is probably the locus of NSA workers and installations.
Juan Williams: "I don't want to get blown up. I'm amazed that the conservatives aren't on the side of the Obama administration here."
John Boehner: "He's a traitor."
Dianne Feinstein "I think it's an act of treason."
Lindsay Graham: "I hope we follow Mr. Snowden to the ends of the earth to bring him to justice.
Max Boot: "A homegrown traitor," "NSA turncoat."
Peter King: Snowden has "violated the espionage act. In my mind that would make him a traitor."
King also wants to prosecute journalists who publish classified information. (Think information is over-classified by the federal government now...?)
John Bolton: "The worse form of treason"
David Brooks: "He betrayed the privacy of us all. If federal security agencies can’t do vast data sweeps, they will inevitably revert to the older, more intrusive eavesdropping methods. He betrayed the Constitution. The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed."
Jeffrey Toobin: Snowden is a "grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison."
Donald Trump: "He's a bad guy," "a grandstander."
David Axelrod: “My question is of Mr. Snowden is he could have gone to the Congress. He could have gone to the Inspector General. This is a peculiar route he took. I mean, he's a whistleblower who then blew the country."
Congress? The Inspector General? Can we claim with a straight face that these mechanisms are in working order?