No, Representative John Lewis (D-GA) did not “praise” Edward Snowden, and The Guardian has agreed to remove that word from their headlines. Here’s a statement from John Lewis.
“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.”
It probably doesn’t need to be said at this point, but anything you read at The Guardian concerning the NSA, or foreign policy, or Edward Snowden, or that darn spooky Obama should probably be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.
The last paragraph of his statement is very poignant, and it’s just one reason among many why comparing Snowden or
Greenwald’s his cause to the civil rights movement is so insulting. Civil rights leaders did not run away to Hong Kong or Russia. They were prepared to pay for their actions with their lives and some of them did.