Support For Snowden Increases Dramatically, But Americans Still For Prosecution

The support for the idea Edward Snowden has positively served the public interest by releasing the NSA files, has dramatically increased just in a couple of months. However, paradoxically, the idea that Snowden should still be prosecuted as a criminal has actually ticked up in support over the same time. Noting the way in which a question can shape a response, consider Pew calls Snowden's action a "leak" (leakers are usually distinguished from whistleblowers).
Demonstrating yet another in the signs of a widening and hardening generation gap on issues of liberty versus security, younger Americans in a new Pew Poll show the strongest support for NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden.

While older Americans overwhelmingly consider Snowden a criminal who needs to be captured and prosecuted by the US government, younger Americans are split on this view, with half supporting the notion of Snowden as a whistleblower, who has served the US public interest by his release of NSA documents.

Overall, support for Snowden on the question of his public service contribution has dramatically increased in the past few months. The Pew report shows that more Americans (45%) now think Snowden has served the public interest, than harmed it (43%). That is a dramatic change from just two months ago, when those supporting Snowden (34%) were in the minority to those Americans (55%) who said back in November that Snowden had harmed the public interest.

While support for Snowden’s actions as a positive public service has grown, the support for prosecuting Snowden for “crimes” has also increased, from 54% back in June, to 56% now. One reason for this is no doubt the overwhelmingly biased MSM coverage of the Snowden story, which regularly promotes the US government, pro-NSA line (that no surveillance abuses have occurred and Snowden is a traitor).

Objections to this view, notable as they might be, are ignored and demonized by most of the MSM, and have done little to convince most Americans that Snowden is actually a hero and not a criminal.

Another reason for the strong support for the anti-Snowden view, is that Barack Obama, turning his back on his pre-presidential posturing about constitutional rights of Americans, has championed the Big Brother spy state apparatus, and most Democrats (49% to 43%), apparently still thinking their president can do no wrong, continue to support Obama on this issue.

In the same way, regardless of the fact that Republican George W. Bush, created and amped up many of the unconstitutional policies and behaviors of NSA and the collective USA spy regime, a slim plurality of Republicans (45%-43%) and a big majority of Tea Party Republicans (53%) support Snowden (i.e. they say his actions served the public interest). One cannot escape the suspicion that this support is at least partly rooted in the fact Obama wants Snowden prosecuted.

In terms of the political atmosphere, Obama is presenting a united front against Snowden. The supposedly liberal president (who has turned out to be very conservatives on many issues) has aligned himself with House and Senate politicians of both parties who run Congressional intelligence committees, as well as current and former intelligence service directors, such as former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden. The message from these pro-spying advocates is “nothing (for you) to see here, American citizens, run along.”

That is the message the youth of America, but also more Americans in general, are increasingly rejecting.

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