Scarborough: Ruling Could Make Snowden a Whistleblower, 'He Has a Point'

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 10:22 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Intelligence leaker Edward Snowden "has a point" if his exposure of the NSA's data collection program is upheld by the Supreme Court, talk show host Joe Scarborough said Tuesday.

"If, let's say, this is held up to the United States Supreme Court. If somebody exposes, like, something that would be deeply offensive to James Madison and the framers of the Constitution, I think Edward Snowden has a point," Scarborough said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled Monday the mass collection of phone records by the NSA unconstitutional. Should Snowden be deemed a whistleblower for revealing the NSA programs, he could receive certain protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

"If what the NSA did last year, what the government has been doing for some time, violates the most sacred tenets of the Constitution . . . does Edward Snowden then become a whistleblower?" Scarborough asked.

The spying program has never been challenged in open court, NY Magazine National Affairs Editor John Heilemann said Tuesday on "Morning Joe." He said Snowden exposed the NSA program so that it would be argued in an open court of law.

"He said he wanted to expose the program so that it could be challenged in open court, which had never been able to have been done before, because of the nature of the program. It's now been challenged in open court," Heilemann said.

The ruling was a "pretty stinging rebuke to the program," Heilemann said. Edward Snowden, for the moment, he maintained, was vindicated.

"Edward Snowden, at least for today, stands pretty fairly vindicated, in terms of what he did, what he said he wanted to do. Now, seems like he can take a victory lap, at least one temporarily," Heilemann said.

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