Leaked to you as a public serviceBy
Just a week ago, we covered the Guardian’s report on the failure of the Pentagon’s whistleblower office to protect the identity of Pentagon whistleblower, Thomas Drake – and Drake’s subsequent prosecution. Edward Snowden told an interviewer in 2015, “It’s fair to say that if there hadn’t been a Thomas Drake, there wouldn’t have been an Edward Snowden.” Thus, Snowden undertook what the Government Accountability Project (GAP) dubbed “civil disobedience” whistleblowing.
That was last week. Now:
The former US attorney general Eric Holder has said the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden performed a “public service” by starting a debate over government surveillance techniques.
Speaking on a podcast hosted by David Axelrod, a former campaign strategist for Barack Obama, Holder emphasized, however, that Snowden must still be punished.
“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,” Holder said, in an hourlong discussion on The Axe Files.
“Now, I would say that doing what he did – and the way he did it – was inappropriate and illegal.”
Snowden obviously saw the irony:
2013: It's treason!
2014: Maybe not, but it was reckless
2015: Still, technically it was unlawful
2016: It was a public service but
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 30, 2016
(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)