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Nancy Pelosi: We Should Give up Liberty for Security, Snowden a Criminal – Booed by Audience
by Ali Papademetriou
Saturday at the yearly Netroots Nation political conference, California democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi made comments on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs that have caught the attention of millions of Americans recently, considering leaked documents that are showing that millions of Americans have been spied on through their phone records.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that Pelosi was booed when she told the audience that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, violated the law and that the government needed to find a middle ground for privacy and security.
Gilroy, California Patch’s Marc Perkel was escorted out of the convention hall by security after he stood up attempting to question Pelosi’s statements.
“Leave him alone!” the audience yelled when he was being taken out. “Secrets and lies! No secret courts! Protect the First Amendment!” shouted people in the audience.
Perkel also told the San Jose Mercury News that he doesn’t think Pelosi fully grasps what the NSA is all about with its surveillance state. It comes as no surprise that Pelosi made the remarks she did though considering earlier this month she told reporters at her Capitol Hill news briefing that she believes Edward Snowden should be prosecuted.
“I think on three scores – that is leaking the Patriot Act section 215, FISA 702, and the president’s classified cyber operations’ directive – on the strength of leaking that, yes, that would be a prosecutable offense… I think that he should be prosecuted,” she said.
Laughably, during the same news briefing she also told listeners that the Patriot Act and FISA don’t even spy on Americans – maybe Perkel is right. “That is not what either of these bills do… There are many protections for the American people, including strengthening the privacy and civil liberties board…Liberty is very important to us and privacy is essential to liberty,” she said.
Alex Wong, Getty Images