CBS anchor Bob Schieffer on Sunday ripped Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former National Security Agency contractor who was the source of a spring of leaks about the agency’s surveillance methods.
Amid a debate over whether Snowden is a “hero” for exposing information about the scope of the NSA’s surveillance methods, Schieffer said Snowden shouldn’t be mentioned in the same conversation as other heroes who have exposed government wrongdoings.
“For one thing, I don’t remember Martin Luther King, Jr., or Rosa Parks running off and hiding in China. The people who ran the civil-rights movement were willing to break the law and suffer the consequences,” Schieffer said during a monologue on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“That’s a little different than putting the nation’s security at risk and running away.”
Schieffer said he isn’t sure whether the NSA is overreaching by gathering information from phone calls and electronic communications. But he said that the members of Congress that Americans elected should be held accountable.
“What I see in Edward Snowden is just a narcissistic young man who has decided he is smarter than the rest of us,” Schieffer said. “I don’t know what he is beyond that. But he is no hero. If he has a point — which I’m not sure he does — he would help his cause by voluntarily coming home to face the consequences.”
Meanwhile, on “Face the Nation,” Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Sunday defended the Obama administration for continuing the program.
McDonough said that the White House isn’t sure of Snowden’s whereabouts. But McDonough is sure that some of Snowden’s claims about his capabilities — including the ability to wiretap anyone, including the President, without a warrant — are dubious.
Watch the clip of Schieffer below:
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