The American Civil Liberties Union says that President Barack Obama is allowing fear rather then principles of freedom to rule his administration.
"We say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know," the liberal group said in a letter to the president.
"We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great," the ACLU said, according to the Washington Examiner
The group is defending NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has been charged with espionage for revealing the existence of U.S. surveillance programs that swept up the private phone information of millions of Americans.
"We stand opposed to any attempt to treat Edward Snowden as a traitor," the ACLU said.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit
against the Obama administration earlier this month after Snowden revealed the program to the press, and demanded that the harvesting of private phone call data be stopped.
"The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy," said Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU's deputy legal director.
The ACLU's defense of Snowden comes on the heels of reports that the American fugitive shared sensitive U.S. intelligence with the Chinese government.
Snowden fled Hong Kong
on Sunday for Russia where he planned on changing planes for a flight to Cuba, and ultimately planned on seeking asylum in Ecuador. However, he has not surfaced since landing in Russia.
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