Edward Snowden PRISM: Ron Paul Approves Of Snowden's Leaks

Edward Snowden, the man responsible for one of the largest leaks in the National Security Administration’s history, is apparently also a Ron Paul supporter. According to Snowden himself, he never wanted the public attention to be on him, but rather on the actions of the government: "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the U.S. government is doing." Regardless, Snowden’s personal life has come to the forefront of the media’s attention, as his political affiliation with the former Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), introduces another unique angle of his story. Paul's perspective counters what other congressional members have stated about the leaks. In a CNN interview, Paul states that “These events are really helping me make my case that I’ve been working on for a few years.” The essential controversy here is the struggle between the protection of civil liberties and the protection of national security. While the NSA phone surveillance is widely viewed as an overstep by the U.S.’s intelligence community, it has apparently been successfully used to stop a harmful attack on American citizens. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the NSA surveillance successfully stopped a terrorist attack “within the last few years.”

Snowden gave two $250 contributions to Rep. Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, one in March and one in May. Rep. Ron Paul is famous for his strong opinions on the protection of civil liberties and the downsizing of government. As a leader of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, Rep. Paul has been a staunch opponent of government “intrusion in people’s daily lives.” Responding to the most recentcontroversy, Paul said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.”

As expected the comments in the rest of the interview reflect a consistent worldview on Paul's part. Paul also stated, “The Fourth Amendment is clear; we should be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects, and all warrants must have probable cause. Today the government operates largely in secret, while seeking to know everything about our private lives — without probable cause and without a warrant.” In addition, Rep. Ron Paul's son, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), called the NSA PRISM program, "an all-out assault on the Constitution." The controversy will only get more politically charged as Snowden’s possible extradition from Hong Kong begins. Nevertheless, Paul feels that "the government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing.”

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James Gadea

James Gadea is from Atlanta, Georgia. He is a student at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and he is really interested in the relationship between Eastern Europe and the Middle East. James loves history, the smell of Barnes & Noble, and when movie characters say the title of the film that they are in.

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