On MSNBC this evening, journalist Glenn Greenwald questioned the espionage charge filed by the U.S. government against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Justice Department unsealed a complaint against Snowden this evening, which revealed that they were charging the former NSA contractor with espionage and theft of government property.

“I think it’s very surprising to accuse somebody of espionage who hasn’t worked for a foreign government who didn’t covertly pass information to an adversary or enemy of the United States, who didn’t sell any top secret information,” Greenwald said, noting that as his source, Snowden gave him the information on the NSA espionage programs which was carefully vetted and published by the Guardian editorial staff.

“That’s not espionage in any real sense of the word,” Greenwald continued, reminding MSNBC host Christopher Hayes that the government had charged him under the Espionage Act – a 1917 statute enacted by President Woodrow Wilson.

Glenwald added that he was not surprised the the Obama administration issued the tough charges – as a warning to other government employees not to leak classified information.

A copy of the unsealed complaint is posted below:



US DOJ files complaint against Edward Snowden