Edward Snowden

US Intelligence Workers Want Snowden To Die

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Credit: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films

BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson has written an article outlining the degree of violent hatred some people working in the U.S. intelligence community have for NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Some highlights:

"In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself," a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. "A lot of people share this sentiment."

and,

"I would love to put a bullet in his head," one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly. "I do not take pleasure in taking another human beings life, having to do it in uniform, but he is single handedly the greatest traitor in American history."

One Army intelligence officer told BuzzFeed about a fantasy of Snowden's death:

"I think if we had the chance, we would end it very quickly," he said. "Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it's a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower."

Some, such as Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who claim that Snowden is a traitor and should have used the systems in place to complain about the programs that concerned him rather than leak the information to journalists should check out Reason TV's recent interview with William Binney, another NSA whistle-blower. Binney went to Congress and the Department of Defense with some former colleagues in 2002 and argued that the NSA was violating constitutional rights and wasting money on ineffective programs. He was subsequently the subject of a federal investigation. Binney told Reason TV, "We are a clear example that [going through] the proper channels doesn't work."

Watch the interview below:

It's sad, but not surprising, that there are some in the U.S. intelligence community that would like to see Snowden killed. He deserves thanks, not the pathetic hostility highlighted by Johnson.

More from Reason.com on Snowden and the NSA here and here.