Senator Rand Paul told CNN yesterday that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will be historically viewed as a truth teller whereas Obama national security director James Clapper will be judged as a liar for telling Congress that the NSA was not spying on Americans.
“I would say that Mr. Snowden hasn’t lied to anyone,” Paul told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “He did break his oath of office, but part of his oath of office is to the Constitution, and he believes that, when James Clapper came in March, our national director of intelligence came and lied, that he [Snowden] was simply coming forward and telling the truth that your government was lying. This is a big concern of mine, because it makes me doubt the administration and their word to us when they talk to us, because they have now admitted they will lie to us if they think it is in the name of national security.”
Paul is referring to Clapper’s March testimony in front of the Senate intelligence committee, during which he claimed that the National Security Agency did “not wittingly” collect data on Americans’ communications.
Following Snowden’s revelations about the PRISM program, Clapper tried to clarify his remarks by stating, “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no.’”
“Mr Clapper lied in Congress in defiance of the law in the name of security – Mr. Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy, so I think there will be a judgment because both of them broke the law and history will have to determine,” added Paul.
The Kentucky Senator also warned Snowden against cozying up to the Russian or Chinese governments, noting that such a move would only serve to discredit the whistleblower.
“I do think, for Mr. Snowden, if he cozies up to the Russian government, it will be nothing but bad for his name in history,” said Paul. “If he goes to an independent third country like Iceland and if he refuses to talk to any sort of formal government about this, I think there’s a chance that he’ll be seen as an advocate of privacy. If he cozies up to either the Russian government, the Chinese government, or any of these governments that are perceived still as enemies of ours, I think that will be a real problem for him in history.”
Responding to Senator Charles Schumer’s assertion that Snowden is no hero in comparison with someone like Martin Luther King, Paul pointed out that King was never threatened with life in prison.
Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Russia on Sunday, but expectations that he would then fly on to Havana were dashed when it was revealed this morning that Snowden was not on the flight to Cuba. “Snowden had never actually been sighted in Moscow, and there was actually no real evidence that he had ever been in Russia at all,” reports the Guardian.
Paul Joseph Watson
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