While many people have come to Edward Snowden's defense, it seems that there is still one segment of people that harbors a particular hatred for the former NSA contractor: those who still work for the NSA.
BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson spoke with a number of current national security and defense employees, and they leave little to the imagination.
- “In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself.”
- “I would love to put a bullet in his head.”
- “Most everyone I talk to says he needs to be tried and hung, forget the trial and just hang him.”
When it comes to Snowden, it seems that—much like domestic surveillance—NSA workers don't like to do things halfway.
One Army intelligence officer provided this gem:
“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.”
It's no surprise that among such a crowd, Snowden is reviled, but most officials refuse to even comment on the programs that Snowden disclosed, let alone the man himself. Those that have spoken out against him publicly have been at least slightly measured, believing that Snowden deserves, at the very least, a trial. Former NSA chief Michael Hayden compared Snowden to a terrorist and called him narcissistic, but did not call for his extrajudicial execution. President Obama refuses to describe him as a patriot or whistleblower, and has said that Snowden should "appear before a court with a lawyer and make his case."