Is Hillary Clinton's Criticism of Edward Snowden a Distraction From Real Issue of Surveillance?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said Edward Snowden “stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands.” We get reaction from WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison and filmmaker Oliver Stone. “She misses the point that no spy gives his story to the newspapers for free, which is what he did,” Stone says. “He handed over all the information.” Harrison adds, “To me, this is all just rhetorical spin trying to deflect from the real situation.”

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go, though, to the Democratic presidential debate last year, one of the primary debates. Hillary Clinton was asked if she viewed NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden as a hero or a traitor. This excerpt begins with Hillary Clinton and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

HILLARY CLINTON: He broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that.

ANDERSON COOPER: Should he do jail time?

HILLARY CLINTON: In addition — in addition, he stole very important information that has, unfortunately, fallen into a lot of the wrong hands.

ANDERSON COOPER: Governor O’Malley?

HILLARY CLINTON: So, I don’t think he should be brought home without facing the music.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Hillary Clinton. Well, in May, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden performed a, quote, “public service” by leaking documents revealing NSA mass surveillance. Holder made the comment during a podcast hosted by David Axelrod.

ERIC HOLDER: We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Sarah Harrison, can you respond to what Hillary Clinton said about…

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