Pelosi Booed Over Snowden Comments

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Saturday, 22 Jun 2013 10:26 PM

By Todd Beamon

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was booed on Saturday when she said NSA leaker Edward Snowden broke the law by disclosing confidential information on the agency’s surveillance programs.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now.

"He did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents," the California Democrat said, drawing boos from the crowd at the NetRoots Nation conference in San Jose. "I understand, I understand, but he did violate the law.

“And the fact is that, again, we have to have the balance between security and privacy – and we don't know what sources and methods may have been revealed, which is a tough thing," Pelosi said, The Hill reports.

“I feel sad that this had to come down to this because I know some of you attribute heroic status to that action, but again, you don't have the responsibility for the security of the U.S.," she added. "Those of us who do have to strike a different balance."

Snowden, a former NSA contractor who is in hiding in Hong Kong, was charged on Friday by U.S. officials with espionage and theft of government property.

The U.S. is seeking Snowden’s extradition from Hong Kong – and the Obama administration on Saturday sharply warned the country against slow-walking his extradition.

At the conference, Pelosi defended Obama's handling of the surveillance programs and told conference participants to reject comparisons between President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush on their oversight of surveillance programs.

"The fact is that you should reject any notion that President Obama's actions have anything to do with what President Bush was doing," Pelosi said, adding that the Bush White House had no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

But shortly after Pelosi was booed over her Snowden comments, she received applause by declaring that "the real crime is outsourcing our national security," the publication said.

"I'm with you, babe, all the way," Pelosi said, responding to a comment shouted from someone in the crowd who criticized the government's outsourcing of defense work.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now.

"The real problem is outsourcing our national security,” Pelosi said. “I am so with you on that."


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