More Americans See Snowden As Whistle-Blowing Patriot Than Traitor

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A Reuters poll released Wednesday reveals more Americans look upon Edward Snowden, the former security contractor who leaked information about the National Security Administration’s PRISM Internet spying program to a British newspaper, as a patriot who did the right thing than as a traitor who deserves arrest.

The online survey asked 645 Americans three questions, with two pertaining to Snowden’s actions. One asked whether Snowden is a traitor or a patriot; the other whether he deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for leaking classified information he believed endangers Americans’ freedoms. A third question sought Americans’ opinion about the PRISM program itself.

According to the poll, 31 percent of Americans say Snowden’s a patriot, with 35 percent feeling he doesn’t deserve to be prosecuted for sharing information about PRISM and other government surveillance dragnets with The Guardian. Only 23 percent said he’s a traitor, with 25 percent saying he should be prosecuted. Another 46 percent reserved judgment on the matter of whether he’s a traitor, with 40 percent saying they didn’t know whether prosecution is in order.

When it comes to PRISM, 37 percent said it’s completely unacceptable to indiscriminately and secretly spy on Americans’ online activities by tapping in to major Internet service providers’ servers without probable cause. Another 45 percent said such surveillance is warranted under certain circumstances. But only 6 percent said they didn’t object to the program at all.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

  • TheOriginalDaveH

    They’ve got the American Citizens thoroughly propagandized. Otherwise the vast majority would, without hesitation, proclaim Snowden as a Hero against the would-be subjectors.

  • Lew

    Snowden should get The Medal of Freedom/Congressional Gold Medal.

  • Sarah417

    I consider Snowden a hero and a patriot. I will also add I have seen other whistle-blowers on News recently and also consider them to be heroes and patriots. Thank God for the American spirit. Let’s don’t stop now we must keep going or we will lose everything.

  • Arkansas Girl

    Snowden is a hero, and people that don’t think so are allowing the terrorist government to win.

  • Alan

    Traitor??? The traitors are those who fail to uphold the constitution and their oath of office. They make me sick.

  • joe1cr

    Snowden reminds me of Paul Revere, warning us of the communist invasion of our constitutional rights.

  • ChuckS123

    He’s a hero and whistle-blower for telling us about the NSA spying on everyone. He’s a traitor for telling how much hacking we do to China. Lock him up.

  • Dave

    I’m shocked that only 37% find the behaviour by the government of spying on it’s citizens to be wrong! How far have we fallen, when 63% would trade liberty for security? I believe someone once said that “those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither”.
    No matter how many assurances that the “elites” give us that the information will not be used for anything except purposes of thwarting terrorism, do we really believe that? Somehow, someday, someway… someone will utilize any information that these folks have collected to suit their purpose.

    • ONTIME

      B. Franklin

  • ONTIME

    Before you give him “hero” status, let’s just see if he blows his whistle for the red chinese……..

  • jim b

    (I can do this all day) The Goberment’s stupidity is on display, they captured data they had no right to capture, then, because they are idiots, they didn’t know the first thing about how to secure it properly, and now they want dead or alive the one who blew the whistle on how inept they really are! Hey here’s an idea, fire their entire IT security team who obviously are incompetent, fire the bureaucrats responsible from running this boondoggle of an operations. Let’s see some government head chopping, this incompetence should not be tolerated. They create all these data regulations for the private sector.. SOX, CFPB, Dodd-Frank… all BS, and then drop the ball on every security control they are responsible for themselves, they leak like a civ, and these idiots don’t even know it. Man I’d like the chance to audit their systems, I’ll rip them all a new a-hole, and clean out the whole lot of them. In any event, now that we know who in Goberment is responsible for this law breaking organization i.e. those looking for whistleblower’s head, we should do some head hunting of our own.

    Remembering Ben Franklin:
    When we the citizens can give up essential liberty (like to the NSA, DHS, TSA, CIA, FBI…) to obtain a little temporary safety we deserve and get neither safety nor liberty.

    A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God (WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION PEOPLE) has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance (help along by the government’s 12 year sentence) that tyranny begins.

    Welcome to the new America!

  • guest

    if he just whistle blew it maybe he could be considered a hero blower – but what he blew to the American uninformed populace is minor compared to what he is giving to the Chinese and what Freedom of Speech further infringement this might lead to, and what NSA infringement this might lead to
    the Chinese win, the terrorists win, Freedom loses and the uninformed American populace loses
    Snowden is a traitor & coward