Condoleeza Rice Calls Snowden a Traitor, Defends NSA

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the NSA at a conference held Wednesday in Silicon Valley. She also called Edward Snowden a “traitor” and said it was “suspicious” he ended up in Russia.

Rice, who is now a professor at Stanford University, gave the keynote address at VentureScape, a conference put on by the National Venture Capital Association. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Rice did not say much about Venture capitalism but did give an impassioned defense of the NSA.

Her strongest language was saved for Edward Snowden the leaker who left the country with a laptop full of data on the NSA’s surveillance activity. “He’s not a hero, he’s a traitor,” she told the crowd. She reportedly added “His shock to discover that
the NSA was spying is a bit suspicious. It’s also a bit suspicious that
he ended up in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

Rice herself has been a focus of controversy lately. Rice was scheduled to give the commencement address at Rutgers University this weekend. Rice cancelled her appearance earlier this month after 350 faculty members signed a petition protesting her selection and Rutger’s plans to give her an honorary law degree. Rice’s decision not to attend was also preceded by student protests including a sit-in.

Prior to the Rutgers controversy, Rice was also criticized after she was named to the Board of Dropbox. In that case, Rice did not withdraw. The CEO of Dropbox defended the decision to appoint Rice leading some activists to drop their services.