By Mike Rogers and Rebeccah L. Heinrichs
Speaking to CNN’s David Axelrod on a recent podcast, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made waves by suggesting that in leaking classified intelligence documents, Edward Snowden “actually performed a public service by raising the debate” about surveillance techniques.
Though he was also quick to emphasize that Snowden should face consequences for his illegal actions, Holder’s comments come at a time when the conversation around Snowden is poised to shift — in the wrong direction. The trailer for a new movie from Oliver Stone called “Snowden” foreshadows a tale of an American hero who risked everything for the sake of the U.S. Constitution and the Fourth Amendment protections of his fellow citizens. The villain, in typical Hollywood fashion, appears to be the U.S. government and its supposedly immoral and predatory National Security Agency.
Portraying the actions of Snowden and the U.S. government in this way is both outrageously counterfactual and utterly shameful. Before Americans use the trailer to decide whether to pay to watch “Snowden,” they should revisit the facts surrounding his security breaches, as well as the events that directly followed and continue to this day.