Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer ripped into NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Sunday, calling him “a narcissistic young man who has decided he is smarter than the rest of us. I don’t know what he is beyond that, but he is no hero.”
Perhaps the most stirring words of Schieffer’s commentary came as he compared who he views as “true heroes”:
“I like people who are willing to stand up to the government,” Schieffer said. “As a reporter, it’s my job to do that from time to time. Some of the people I admire most [took on] the government. Men and women who led the civil rights movement—Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr.—they are true heroes. I’m not ready to put Edward Snowden in that category.
“For one thing, I don’t remember Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks running off and hiding in China. The people who led the civil rights movement were willing to break the law and suffer the consequences. That’s a little different than putting the nation’s security at risk and running away.”
Schieffer’s disagreement with Snowden’s actions was coupled with the host’s desire to look more deeply into the surveillance program Snowden let the whole world see.
“I know eleven people who died or lost a member of their family on 9/11,” Schieffer added. “My younger daughter lived in Manhattan then. It was six hours before we knew she was safe. I’m not interested in going through that again. I don’t know yet if the government has over-reached since 9/11 to reinforce our defenses, and we need to find out. What I do know, though, is that these procedures were put in place and are being overseen by officials we elected and we should hold them accountable.”
Schieffer concluded by criticizing Snowden’s current choice of locale:
“If he has a valid point—and I’m not even sure he does—he would greatly help his cause by voluntarily coming home to face the consequences.”
Watch Schieffer’s complete commentary here: