GOP's Justin Amash: Snowden a Whistleblower, Not a Traitor

Sunday, 04 Aug 2013 05:30 PM

By Greg Richter

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Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., says he doesn't believe National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is a traitor.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Amash, said that as far as Congress is concerned, the former NSA contract employee is a whistleblower.

"He told us what we need to know," Amash said. "Without his doing what he did, members of Congress would not really have known about it. … Members of Congress were not really aware on the whole about what these programs were being used for, the extent to which they were being used.”

Amash is a critic of the NSA surveillance program that compiles the electronic communications of American citizens. He sponsored and failed amendment to the House defense spending bill that would have stopped the collection of phone records.

He admitted that Snowden "may be doing things overseas that we would find problematic, that we would find dangerous." His "whistleblower" label was aimed at the fact that Snowden had given Congress a heads up into the NSA's activity.

Snowden initially fled to Hong Kong and was granted temporary asylum in Russia last week. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" he wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese or Russians were able to get top secret information off Snowden's computer.



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