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WaPo/ABC Poll: Most Americans Say Snowden Harmed US Security, Want Him Prosecuted

The public has grown less sympathetic as more secret documents have been revealed
US News • Views: 20,242

Bad news for the Snowden/Greenwald axis and their pursuit of immunity from prosecution: the American public’s not going for it.

The Times writes that “the shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nation’s security.”

But Americans see things differently. Sixty percent said they believe his disclosures harmed U.S. security, according to a November Washington Post-ABC News poll. And 55 percent said they think he did the “wrong thing” in leaking information to the media about the government’s sweeping surveillance efforts. Snowden has shared his information about the NSA programs with The Washington Post.

More than half of Americans (52 percent) said that Snowden should be charged with a crime for disclosing the NSA’s sweeping intelligence-gathering efforts. Just 38 percent said he should not be charged. (The Times, it should be noted, isn’t saying that Snowden shouldn’t be charged at all. It’s simply vouching for leniency.)

Support for prosecuting Snowden crosses party lines (highly unusual in these days of the government shutdown), as the following chart shows:

And an interesting footnote: as Greenwald and his cronies have disclosed more and more of the stolen documents (revealing NSA programs and secrets that have nothing to do with civil liberties), the public has grown more and more opposed to the Snowden public relations effort.

Americans have become less sympathetic to Snowden as additional programs have been revealed. In June, a Post-ABC poll found the public split 43 to 48 percent over whether he should be charged. Opinions changed one month later, with 53 percent saying he should be charged, a finding that held steady in November at 52 percent.

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