John Lewis, Obama’s ‘Conscience Of Congress’: Snowden Appealed To ‘Higher Law’ To Expose Wrongs


Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.), a 73-year-old civil rights icon on par with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., stepped away from the thinking of many of his Congressional peers in a recent interview with The Guardian, in praising whistle-blower Edward Snowden as a man appealing to “a higher law.”

Via The Guardian:

Asked in interview with the Guardian whether Snowden was engaged in an act of civil disobedience, Lewis nodded and replied: “In keeping with the philosophy and the discipline of non-violence, in keeping with the teaching of Henry David Thoreau and people like Gandhi and others, if you believe something that is not right, something is unjust, and you are willing to defy customs, traditions, bad laws, then you have a conscience. You have a right to defy those laws and be willing to pay the price.”

“That is what we did,” he added. “I got arrested 40 times during the sixties. Since I’ve been in Congress I’ve been arrested four times. Sometimes you have to act by the dictates of your conscience. You have to do it.”

Meanwhile, many other members of Congress and President Barack Obama have been less appreciative of Snowden’s actions. Some of his harshest detractors include Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who called the whistle-blower’s actions treasonous, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who called him a traitor.

Last month, Lewis was among lawmakers who voted in favor of a narrowly defeated amendment in the House to end the NSA’s bulk collection of millions of phone records.

President Obama and many others have referred to Lewis as “the conscience of the U.S. Congress” on more than one occasion.

Well, Mr. President, it seems your conscience has spoken.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • Gene Kapinos

    Interesting how all the real traitors are calling Snowden one.

    • chris

      i’m with you!!!

      • chris

        He might be a traitor to these traitors that are running our government but a genuine hero to the American people

  • guy r west

    ever notice that when some one acouses some one else of somehing its usley those doing the acouseing that are guilty of the verry same things.? and it seems the list gets longer. or is it just beeing politicaly corect ? i can think of a nother term for it but it diffnetly would not bee eather politicly or socaily corect. well since ive never clamed to bee eather who cares brown noseing back stabing trun coats of a royal order. are it seems calling the tune they are guilty of the same things they acouse others of

  • ItsJo

    I believe that Mr. Snowden was “trying to TELL the American People, what Our Government WAS DOING. Of course those like Obama, Hillary, biden, McCain, Graham, Feinstein, Boxer, etal who ‘want to keep control of We the Sheeple are upset, because the things they are doing Got Out with Snowden Telling on Them.
    He was IMO, trying to warn Americans just What Obama and this Crooked Regime are actually capable of, what they are intending and what they’ve been doing against our liberties and freedoms. They all said he should have gone through our ‘court system’….that’s a Laugh, as the crooked judges that are Dems/
    and Obamabots would have slapped him in prison. Look what Obama has done to ‘whistle blowers on Benghazi….smeared them personally and tried to ruin their lives, and he’s NOW, hiding ANY witnesses and giving lie detector tests monthly to “MAKE SURE THEY DON’T LEAK WHAT THEY KNOW ON BENGHAZI”
    Mr. Snowden should be Thanked by most Americans who want to continue living with independence and freedoms, and the Constitution…..instead of trying to get him back here, or “Drone Him into Silence”…..This Regime of Thugs, are the ones NOT to be trusted, and Snowden showed us that.

  • TheOriginalDaveH

    Snowden WAS a Traitor — To the Government Gang.
    But a hero to the rest of us.

    • chris

      your right on

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    BS! And more BS!

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    If they want to see someone who is really treasonous or a traitor, THEY should look in the MIRROR!! We need to clean our House, Senate, Congress and the White House (including the Admin.) of these corrupt people! Change in 2014!! Vote them all out!

  • Deerinwater

    .I’ve been silent one these issues, not so much that I did not know what to think but not completely certain what to believe, for it is the very nature of an institution to defend itself from what it perceives as an attack. This defense requires adapting an adversarial position and launching a counter attack on grounds that appears defensible.

    This man, ~ Edward Snowden, joins a long list of men and women that has accepted to carry the weight of the truth as their sense of moral compass and conviction override preservation of self.

    While we need of and have come to depend on sound institutions whether they be an arm of government or the church, we cannot ignore the fact that both have the capacity to do great harm as well as great good.

    Institutions prefer dead heroes, as live ones just talk too much.

    So what do we do? ~ Allow institutions to have their way and rule the day? Accept that the life of one person of conviction worth the price of the institution?

    If we, as citizens, sit back and allow our institutions to subject “Due Process” to Edward Snowden, ~ Edward Snowden is toast or ~ Just a man without a country , in hiding for the crime of being a loyal patriot .

    What shall we do?

  • AlMack

    Snowden hasn’t revealed any secrets other than all american’s are getting F’d by the Federal Gov’t. but what is really scary is how many Marxist Progressives there are in both parties who smear him as a traitor and try to con the people that having no privacy rights is good for them and the country. What a bunch B.S.

    • Jeff

      What are you talking about? The true Progressives are, by and large, more supportive of Snowden than are the establishment types in both parties. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party and the right wing of the Republicans though I suspect the TP people like Snowden because he’s seen as poking Obama in the eye.

      • AlMack

        The lynchpin of what I say is that there are too many “Marxist Progressives” “in both parties”. I think that was clear enough.

        • Jeff

          Clear as mud.

          • AlMack

            Very funny, like your brain.

  • Deerinwater

    Copy & Paste, ~ things are afoot Watson ~

    Lavabit, the privacy-conscious email service famously thought to have been used by Edward Snowden, abruptly shut down on Thursday as the company prepares to go to court against the U.S. government.

    In a message posted on Lavabit’s website, founder and owner Ladar Levison wrote that after “significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations.”

    “I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot,” Levison wrote. “I feel you deserve to know what’s going on–the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this.”

    Lavabit allowed its members to send highly encrypted emails that, even if intercepted by a third party, would be nearly impossible to read without a password. According to Lavabit’s now-defunct site, the company used two layers of advanced encryption to protect what was sent and did not collect data to tailor ads to emailers, as is common among major email services like Gmail and Yahoo. Lavabit made money through subscription fees instead.

    Snowden, the former National Security Administration contractor who leaked secret spy agency documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post, used Lavabit to protect the messages he sent since he arrived in Russia, according to a Human Rights Watch worker who was in touch with him.

    Levison wrote in his note that a U.S. law prevents him from detailing the circumstances under which he is closing his company. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has prevented Google and other Internet firms from disclosing details about government requests for email access under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    “We’ve already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Levison wrote. “A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company.”