(Rick Ritter) A highly anticipated new movie hits theaters this weekend about the life of Edward Snowden, a Maryland man who worked for the NSA and leaked classified documents. Now a prominent Maryland congressman is urging people not to see the movie.
He labels himself a whistle blower, but critics call him a traitor. The saga of Edward Snowden has captivated the world for the past three years. His story is now a Hollywood movie.
In 2013, the Maryland man and NSA contractor leaked thousands of pages of classified government documents to media. Snowden says he wanted to expose the government’s collection of U.S. citizens’ private information. He now lives in Russia in asylum, and faces espionage charges in the U.S.
“I don’t know what tomorrow looks like, but I’m glad for the decision I made,” Snowden said.
The movie follows Snowden, from a young Army recruit to a computer expert for the NSA.
A new report released this week by the House Intelligence Committee says Snowden was just a disgruntled employee, and is not a whistle blower. It says the majority of the documents he stole were military and defense secrets–nothing to do with Americans’ privacy.
The movie Snowden hits theaters across the country this weekend, and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger says Americans shouldn’t give Snowden any more publicity.
(Peter Van Buren) Snowden is a helluva movie, kicking an audience’s ass on a number of levels. I had a chance to see the film last night at a preview event; it opens everywhere on September 16. Go see it.
On one level the film presents Snowden’s story as a political thriller. A brave but frightened man, certain he is doing the right thing but worried if he can pull it off, smuggles some of the NSA’s most secret information out of a secure facility. He makes contact with skeptical journalists in Hong Kong, convinces them of the importance of what he has to say, and then goes on the run from a U.S. government out to arrest, or, possibly assassinate, him.
In interviews Stone has made clear that he has dramatized and/or altered some events, and that his film is not a documentary. It does keep you on the edge of your beliefs, watching a story you know as if you don’t.
(Marjorie Cohn & Mohsen Abdelmoumen) Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In spying on entire planet through the NSA, as revealed by Edward Snowden, does the US government fight terrorism as he claims or is it an excuse to spy on activists who are against the imperialist policy of the United States? Are this phone-tapping legal?
Pr. Marjorie Cohn: The US government is really trying to fight terrorism but the use of metadata to target people with drones is unreliable. The US government may have a cell phone number that belongs to a “suspected terrorist”, but the target may have given his phone to anyone (his mother, etc.), so the targeting is notoriously imprecise. Surveillance is used within the United States to monitor suspected terrorist activity, but can also be abused to spy on dissidents.
Just remember: even in their infinite wisdom, the Founders still only had mechanical, paper-fed printing presses in their day! And, when they bestowed us lowly serfs with the amazing gifts of free speech and free press, they never could have imagined inventions like DIGITAL MEDIA, the INTERNET, and RADIO!!! Therefore, if the honest and honorable representatives of America’s government truly want to continue the great work that the Founders started, they must finally legislate some common-sense limits into our antiquated system of laws, so that the lunatic fringes of our society can no longer cower behind our obviously obsolete Bill of Rights, while they wreak havoc on the rest of us sane people with impunity! It’s time to give them a taste of PROGRESS!
(See? Being a mindless sheep is as safe and easy as 1-2-3! Yay!)