NSA Whistleblower Vows to Fight US Government

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As the fallout from National Security Administration leaks is taking center stage in Washington, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is still in hiding.

But the South China Morning Post newspaper says they were able to interview Snowden Wednesday.
        
"I am not here to hide from justice," Snowden told the Post . "I am here to reveal criminality."
    
Snowden went on to say that he's had several chances to leave Hong Kong, but he's chosen to stay and fight the United States because he has faith in Hong Kong's rule of law.
    
Prosecutors plan to use parts of the Espionage Act to file criminal charges against Snowden, a move that brings with it a possible penalty of life in prison.

"He has said from the start that once he made the choice to inform the public about these programs, all of his options were bad ones. It's safe to say he won't be living a free and unrestrained life," Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald said.
    
In Washington, lawmakers are beginning a series of investigations into the classified information Snowden revealed.
    
They're also questioning whether they were misled by NSA Director James Clapper in March, when he denied the agency collected data on American citizens.
    
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Obama administration over the NSA's program of collecting phone and internet records.
    
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union is demanding the Obama administration end the program and purge all records collected.

On Tuesday, intelligence officials tried to soothe Congress in an extended briefing. FBI, Justice Department, and other intelligence officials testified the programs are necessary to protect America and do not violate privacy rights.
    
Legislators remain skeptical, however, saying there should be greater oversight in the courts and in Congress.     

Still, many agree that the leaks compromise national security.

"I think, again, anybody who reveals classified information is doing, you know, is undermining our intelligence programs," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said.

Meanwhile, the scandal isn't just hurting the Obama administration in the United States. Regent University Executive Vice-President Paul Bonicelli told CBN News the programs are also hurting the U.S. internationally.

"There are a lot of countries that have strong civil liberties protections... and they don't like the hypocrisy above all," Bonicelli said. "They know the U.S. is a place that receives asylum seekers. We always talk about protecting people's rights with the Bill of Rights and yet we look like we're doing exactly what we condemn other countries for."

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