Do you regard Edward Snowden, the national security consultant who released information to the media about the phone scanning program, as more of a traitor, or more of a whistle-blower?I guess those of us who think he's simply a naive narcissistic hacker/leaker don't count, huh?
But boy, are folks jumping all over this one!
“The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti-terrorism efforts, and the public view that Edward Snowden is more whistle-blower than traitor, are the public reaction and apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s polling institute.Or - so said the guy who's polling firm framed that binary choice.
And of course Glenn Greenwald is celebrating on the streets of Rio as we speak.
As usual, the US government, its establishment press, and both political parties have been almost completely united in its views and objectives in this episode. The American people, however, seem to have reached a much different conclusion than the one prepared for and fed to them.But here is some information from that same poll that didn't make the headlines:
What concerns you more about the government's anti-terrorism policies, that they have gone too far in restricting the average person's civil liberties, or that they have not gone far enough to adequately protect the country? Gone too far 45% and Not gone far enough 40%If those results have your head spinning a bit, perhaps this short video titled "Students know more about Kim's new baby than NSA, Holder" will help to explain.
Do you support or oppose the federal government program in which all phone calls are scanned to see if any calls are going to a phone number linked to terrorism? 51% support and 45% oppose
Do you think this program is necessary to keep Americans safe or not? 54% Yes and 40% No
Do you think this program is too much intrusion into Americans' personal privacy or not? 53% Yes and 44% No
And no...I'm not claiming this is a scientific poll. But based on my interactions with the non-political junkie crowd, I'd say its pretty accurate. When even college students don't know who Eric Holder is and can't name a single Supreme Court Justice...I'm not sure we can count on polling in regards to the NSA and Snowden to tell us much.
That brings me to this. For a while now I've been thinking about trying to outline exactly what we do/don't know about NSA surveillance for those who are interested in learning the actual facts. Now I don't have to. Because Bob Cesca has done a brilliant job of doing just that. I recommend that you not only read it - but share it as widely as possible.