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June 10th, 2013
11:43 PM ET

Ari Fleischer on Edward Snowden: "I don't find myself agreeing with the Obama administration very often, but I am strongly with the Obama administration on this one"

As America continues to wrestle with issues of privacy, security, and the delicate intersection of the two, on Monday evening "Piers Morgan Live" invited a trio of men to offer their reaction to data-mining, and National Security Agency contractor/leaker Edward Snowden:

"I don't find myself agreeing with the Obama administration very often, but I am strongly with the Obama administration on this one," said Ari Fleischer, in speaking out against Snowden, and in favor of programs to collect and analyze information. "It is legal. It's been authorized by all three branches of government. And any time you have this unusual marriage of a George Bush policy that's continued by Barack Obama, you really have found a broad center in the United States. It's doing what's necessary to keep us safe."

Seated next to the former White House Press Secretary, Jeffrey Toobin took some issue with the government. However, his ire towards Snowden was significantly stronger:

"I think there are many good reasons to protest this law. I'm troubled by this law, but I think there are right ways to do it, and there are wrong ways to do it," said the CNN legal analyst. "By a 29-year-old kid, just throwing open the safe and giving away documents that people have devoted years of their lives to creating and protecting. That's the wrong way to protest."

The segments third panel member – Lanny Davis – is against sacrificing safety for transparency:

"I saw the careful scrutiny that each person involved in the terrorist surveillance program," said former White House Special Counsel under the Clinton administration. "When they approached the line of encroaching on the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens, they pulled back to the point where there were so many checks and balances within that agency, where I was watching the program, I sometimes wondered whether we were missing evil terrorists because of concern about privacy."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's live discussion on security, transparency, the NSA, and Edward Snowden, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. sm

    You know why Arrie Ficher ( who was under the Bush adm.) agrees with the president? Because he know there is No other way to get ahead of eminent threats and suspected terrorist who aren't already identified and are communicating with someone about a newly directed threat or attack against the U.S And then the American people, who have always hippocritically said it, " why didn't somebody know it was about to happen'. Everytime it has been said. Well heres the chance, for Americas imminant safety and survival, to easily and most effortlessly track and deture, let alone arrest and prevent Terrorist attacks. But America puts up with the Google, Yahoo, gas stations, drug and grocery stores and Cell phone networks already seperatly tracking your every move, and we know about it, That's histerically funny. I don't have anything to hide, do you??????????????????

    June 11, 2013 at 12:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Revenant

      Hello you.

      'Then the young hero,who was God Almighty,got ready,
      young and strong in heart...' The Dream Of The Rood.

      June 12, 2013 at 8:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • sm

        What are you talking about! in English! You are an insecure flighty nut!

        June 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. max

    Let see if I got this right, not kicking out ever one of this faith, or us all losing our freedom to keep us save? Which one do you think we should do? When you ask them of this faith, if they think its okay to kill us, and they say they don’t see a problem as long as they kill only the military, like they did in England. There may be a problem. The bad guy is the guy that said they are breaking the laws?

    June 11, 2013 at 1:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sam

    I find it sad to think that so many people squabble over whether Mr. Snowden is or is not justified in divulging what he felt morally wrong. He is an American who has lived under the banner of what his society has held patent rights on "the home of the free and the brave" and touted this seemingly unique banner around the world for all to be jealous of and one day attain if they too can reach its moral standard. The rest of the world has viewed this catch phrase as somewhat hypocritical and with skeptical eyes. Mr. Snowden has revealed the modern American un-pleasantry in his words, and I paraphrase "even if for a brief moment for the world to see and take notice". I hope the commentators who often hold law degrees will stop spinning the words of his original message and allow that moment to be the wakeup call it was intended to be. Hats off to Mr. Snowden for his “Paul Revere” bravery to risk it all in calling a spade a spade. The America whose forefathers originally fought so diligently against an intrusive government has found that government has returned to haunt its people and shot holes in its banner of freedom. The leaders of that government have been successful in erecting a self imposed prison state around itself with all the interrogative procedures, protective barriers and now surveillance of its own populace. Paranoia has left America not so free as it claims to be. So much for catch phrases.

    June 11, 2013 at 1:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. max

    Now you get it, the bad guys that are bad guys throw away the phones. that how they don’t get found out. So, why than do they need to get our phone, and our stuff on the net. Sounds like some one is not telling the truth. Like guns taking our guns from good people the bad ones will find away to get them and shot us.

    June 11, 2013 at 2:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Schoolboy

    Yeah this big bad wolf of an NSA program did anything to stop the dark night shooting or Boston masacare... It's 1984 in 2013... It's going to be minority report in 2050. Athesim help us...the thought police is coming.

    June 11, 2013 at 2:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason B

      Atheism help us? Strange choice of words, that's a big part of what's getting us into the mess the country's in.

      June 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bald Eagle Turning Into Firebird

      Massacre has a currency of late,Schoolboy(verily thee be),
      My America is suffering,you can at least spell correctly.

      Atheism is for heathens.

      June 12, 2013 at 8:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Kevin

    Sorry Pierce,
    I'm afraid to comment for this might be recorded and used against me in a court of law.

    June 11, 2013 at 3:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Scott Rice

    Sorry, until the borders are sealed and the U.S. Government stops giving student visas to Muslim nations. We aren't any safer.

    June 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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