U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill., pictured) is calling for the prosecution of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. He says the case is obvious: “Mr. Snowden broke the law. They told him, we will give you access to the most important and delicate classified information in America. You’ve gotta take an oath that you will never disclose it. We take the same oath, members of Congress. He broke his oath. He disclosed it. He committed a crime. He needs to pay a price for it.”
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The public is not entirely on board with politicians who consider Snowden a criminal for his oath-breaking. Many are pleased that he blew the whistle on NSA snooping on the phone and e-mail records of regular citizens, and hail him as a hero. Durbin joins U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) among the Illinois delegation calling for the prosecution of Snowden, who is believed to be in Hong Kong and has not been charged with a crime.
Also, Durbin says there are unanswered questions about surveillance, such as whether the government can thwart terrorism threats without going through everyone’s phone records, and about personnel who are hired at government contractors or at government agencies and given security clearance. Durbin says he wouldn’t have hired Snowden – a high school, college and Army dropout – on his Senate staff, yet he was given access to secrets.