Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Two South Florida Democratic politicians have weighed in on the debate over the Edward Snowden leaking details about the National Security Agency’s Prism program and while both view the leaker as a traitor, the reasoning behind one of them has quite a bit of cognitive dissonance.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, and South Florida Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz weighed in Monday saying that she didn’t vote for the government surveillance programs because she didn’t think they protected privacy rights enough.
Still, in the same statement Wasserman Schultz said Snowden should be prosecuted for revealing the alleged privacy violations in the Prism surveillance program.
“He should be extradited, arrested, and prosecuted,” Wasserman Schultz said. “That’s exactly what should happen to him because he violated the law. He violated America’s trust. He jeopardized millions of Americans.”
Wasserman Schultz said a briefing is coming to Congress this week on the Prism program and she believes the program is likely abiding by the law. She also said the law could use better controls, particularly when it comes to how long the government holds on to data.
Florida Senator Bill Nelson described Snowden, the alleged leaker, as committing an act of treason.
“This is deliberately taking highly, highly super-compartmented classified information and giving it directly out,” Nelson told CNN, according to talkingpointsmemo.com. “He ought to be prosecuted under the law. Extradited and prosecuted. We cannot have national security if our secrets cannot be kept.”
Democrats, and some Republicans, are walking a tightrope with the new program. The resulting public outrage to the program has united civil liberty Democrats with libertarian conservatives. However, almost all politicians have reacted favorably to the program and see nothing wrong with the NSA program.