Piers Morgan spoke tonight to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the story of government surveillance wide open, and Daniel Ellsberg, the man responsible for the release of the Pentagon Papers over 40 years ago. Morgan asked Greenwald to respond to the claims by the NSA head that the leaks “help America’s enemies.” Greenwald says the government is just reading from the same playbook it does every time “somebody exposes what they want to hide from the people over whom they’re ruling,” telling Morgan they prefer to “rule in fear” over the American people.
Morgan asked Greenwald if he thinks the government is “lying” when it says 50 terrorist attacks have been thwarted by the NSA program. Greenwald said it’s just misleading, adding that it is harder to thwart plots with this kind of Dragnet program “because they’re collecting so much stuff they don’t even know what they have.”
Ellsberg told Morgan that there is obviously a “need for secrecy” in certain cases, and that’s why he did not release a lot more information back in 1971. However, he noted that warrantless searches and seizures helped fuel the American Revolution, and remarked that if Obama truly welcomes the debate on NSA surveillance, he should be thanking Snowden for making it public in the first place.
Morgan asked Ellsberg if he believes Snowden was right to stay or right to flee the country. Ellsberg said Snowden did the right thing, because if he didn’t he’d be in the same position as Bradley Manning, and contrasted that with how he himself was able to get out on bail and go before the American people to explain himself in 1971 when the government targeted him.
Greenwald concluded the segment by saying the big issue comes down to a lack of government oversight in which widespread abuse can exist, dismissing the idea that just because certain things are not within the legal boundaries of the NSA doesn’t mean they can’t be done.
Watch the video below, courtesy of CNN:
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