Feinstein: NSA Leaker Committed 'Treason'
On Monday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called Edward Snowden, the man who leaked secrets about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans to the press, a traitor. She told the press, “I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason.” She said that Snowden had violated his oath as a government employee to uphold the Constitution: “He violated the oath, he violated the law. That’s treason.”
Treason can carry the death penalty.
Snowden worked for the CIA, then on an NSA contract for Booz-Allen, a private contractor. He told the press about NSA seizure of phone records for millions of Americans, and NSA snooping on Americans’ internet activity.
While Feinstein said she would be open to public hearings on NSA surveillance, she did say that the instances in which the program has done good are classified. Nonetheless, she added, “I’m open to doing a hearing every month, if that’s necessary.”
Snowden has called Wikileaks source Bradley Manning “a classic whistleblower … inspired by the public good.” However, Snowden, unlike Manning, leaked information selectively in order to avoid danger to Americans in the line of fire.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).