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The admitted leaker of big National Security Agency secrets has sparked debate – is Edward Snowden a traitor or a hero? The 29-year-old revealed on Sunday that he was the source of leaks detailing top-secret NSA surveillance programs.
Today in the 6 p.m. ET hour of “The Situation Room,” Wolf Blitzer takes an in-depth look at his journey, the secrets he leaked and his possible punishment.
Snowden, a former CIA employee, was most recently working for Booz Allen Hamilton as an NSA contractor to the government when he revealed the existence of classified programs that collect phone and Internet records in the hunt for terrorists and criminals. He explained to The Guardian why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in recent years. “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” he said in an interview. “That is not something I am willing to support or live under."
Snowden faces possible extradition to the U.S. from Hong Kong, where he fled before revealing his identity. U.S. officials are calling the leak extremely damaging, and say it has provided terrorists with information that they can use to avoid detection.
Joining Blitzer for the special coverage are former CIA Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash, Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman – who has been at the center of that paper’s coverage of this story - CNN Sr. Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s Anna Coren in Hong Kong, Miguel Marquez in Hawaii, Barbara Starr and Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon, Jessica Yellin from the White House, and more.
What do you think? Is Snowden a traitor or a hero?