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The Washington Post
Monday, July 2, 2007
6:30PM EST

WASHINGTON -- An estimated 700,000 protesters crowded Pennsylvania Avenue Monday to protest the indictment of Edward J. Snowden on two counts under the Espionage Act. Snowden, 24, a former security analyst for the National Security Agency (NSA), allegedly leaked thousands of Bush Administration documents, including internal White House and NSA memoranda.

The leaked memoranda appear to show a coordinated 18-month effort by the Bush Administration to fabricate and misrepresent government intelligence as a justification for the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003.  

The memoranda also revealed a massive warrantless wiretapping initiative being conducted by the NSA.  Ordinarily, intelligence agencies may only intercept Americans' electronic information pursuant to a valid warrant issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.  

Several Constitutional scholars have called the warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional on its face.

After releasing the documents, Snowden was detained shortly after taping an appearance with the CBS Sunday show 60 Minutes.

CBS provided The Post with a sneak preview of Sunday's show.  

When asked if he intended to flee the country, Snowden replied, "I'm not running anywhere.  Running means you're guilty of something.  They should be running.  This administration lied us into a war, and hundreds of thousands are dead.  This warrantless wiretapping program is illegal and unconstitutional.  President Bush should be impeached and charged with war crimes."

Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Intelligence (D-California), released a statement Sunday:

"We were not briefed on the existence nor the details of the NSA warrantless wiretapping program.  This has taken the Committee Members by total surprise.  We are working to address these revelations as more information becomes available."

Rumors abound that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preparing Articles of Impeachment.  When contacted by The Post, Speaker Pelosi's office declined to comment.

Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois), who announced in February that he would be running for President in 2008, also chimed in.  "I think it's important that we wait for all of the facts to come out before we rush to judgment.  However, if these memoranda are to be believed, then Edward Snowden may very well turn out to be one of the most important whistleblowers in American history.  I do not believe that public servants who reveal illegal or unconstitutional activity should be charged with espionage."

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey of 3,706 Americans found that 82% of respondents believe Snowden should not have been indicted, with 9% being in favor of the indictment.  9% either did not know or weren't sure.

The PPP same survey found 73% of respondents believe President Bush should be impeached, with 19% opposed and 8% unsure.


Did Edward Snowden violate the Espionage Act?

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