Rep. John Lewis: No Praise for Snowden

Aug 8, 2013

“News reports about my interview with The Guardian are misleading, and they do not reflect my complete opinion. Let me be clear.  I do not agree with what Mr. Snowden did.  He has damaged American  international relations and compromised our national security.  He leaked classified information and may have jeopardized human lives.  That must be condemned.

“ I never praised  Mr. Snowden or said his actions rise to those of Mohandas Gandhi or other civil rights leaders.   In fact, The Guardian itself agreed to retract the word “praise” from its headline.

“At the end of an interview about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I was asked what I thought about Mr. Snowden’s actions.  I said he has a right as an individual to act according to the dictates of his conscience, but he must be prepared to pay the price for taking that action.  In the movement, we were arrested, we went to jail, we were prepared to pay the price, even lose our lives if necessary.  I cannot say and I did not say that what Mr. Snowden did is right.  Others will be the judge of that.”