“A majority of U.S. registered voters consider Edward Snowden a whistle-blower, not a traitor, and a plurality says government anti-terrorism efforts have gone too far in restricting civil liberties, a poll released today shows,” Jonathan D. Salant reports for Bloomberg.
“Fifty-five percent said Snowden was a whistle-blower in leaking details about top-secret U.S. programs that collect telephone and Internet data, in the survey from Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University,” Salant reports. “hirty-four percent said he’s a traitor. Snowden, 30, worked for McLean, Virginia-based federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.”
Salant reports, “The poll also showed that by 45 percent to 40 percent, respondents said the government goes too far in restricting civil liberties as part of the war on terrorism. That was a reversal from January 2010, when in a similar survey 63 percent said anti-terrorism activities didn’t go far enough to protect the U.S. from attacks, compared with 25 percent who disagreed.”
“‘The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti-terrorism efforts, and the public view that Edward Snowden is more whistle-blower than traitor, are the public reaction and apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,’ said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s polling institute,” Salant reports.
MacDailyNews Take: “Trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,” sure. But, is that all they’re doing or is that just a convenient excuse?
Salant reports, “The view of Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than traitor predominated among almost every group of respondents broken down by party, gender, income, education and age. Black voters were the lone exception, with 43 percent calling Snowden a traitor compared with 42 percent saying he was a whistle-blower… The poll showed both Democrats and Republicans about evenly divided on whether government counter-terrorism measures have become excessive. Independent voters view the methods as having gone too far by 49 percent to 36 percent… The poll showed that men, by 54 percent to 34 percent, see the government as having gone too far in its efforts while women, by 47 percent to 36 percent, said the measures haven’t gone far enough. ‘It would be naive to see these numbers as anything but evidence of a rethinking by the public about the tradeoffs between security and freedom,’ Brown said.”
Read more in the full article here.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “David G.” for the heads up.]