Was Snowden Justified?

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

The NSA whistleblower and former agent of CIA & NSA, Edward Snowden. (Laura Poitras/Praxis Films/Shutterstock)

Edward Snowden has managed to establish himself as one of the most polarizing names in the world. Beginning in June of 2013, the former CIA employee and NSA contractor leaked classified material that revealed a slew of secret US surveillance programs. Since then, he's been simultaneously championed as a patriot and traitor.

In this episode of Intelligence Squared, four panelists sit down to debate the question: was Snowden justified? His release of stolen documents sparked a presidential overhaul of the NSA, but it also revealed the country's behind-doors operations to the international community -- both friends and foes.

Has the download and release of over 1.7 million files endanger the US? And should Snowden be prosecuted for his actions in any measurable way, even despite his asylum in Russia?

Arguing in favor of Snowden is Daniel Ellsberg, former US military analyst and Pentagon Papers whistleblower, as well as Ben Wizner, legal adviser to Edward Snowden and attorney for the ACLU.

Arguing against Snowden is Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and contributing editor to National Review, as well as Ambassador R. James Woolsey, former director of the CIA and Chairman at the Foundation for Defense Of Democracies.

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