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Congressman Richard Hanna Weighs In On Patriot Act, Calls Edward Snowden A Criminal

 WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) arrives at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, June 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on Cybersecurity from Gen. Keith Alexander and other government officials. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Congressman Richard Hanna says he supports the Patriot Act, but strongly objects to certain provisions within it.

He says that’s why he voted against the Patriot Act when it came up for renewal.

”The conversation two years ago was simple for me. I said, ‘You can fix these things, you know what to do, given the opportunity there is a tremendous opportunity for abuse’, They said ‘no, we need this right now’. That’s why I voted against it.”

”I’m not against the Patriot Act. I think there is clearly a need, after 9/11, to tighten down security to know who is interacting with terrorists,” Hanna said. The broad reaching ability of government to keep an eye on private citizens, with no tie to terrorist groups is what is troubling, he said.

”Section 215 of the business section portion of the Patriot Act and used it in a way that many of us disagree with. And what do they do with this information?”

”Given the opportunity, power corrupts. I think the IRS is a good example of that”, Hanna said, referring to their targeted investigations of conservative and tea party groups.

Hanna has strong feeling on Edward Snowden, whom some are calling a whistle blower and others say is a traitor.

”Let me make it clear, I think he’s a criminal. He was in a position that, incredibly, it seems he shouldn’t have been in, with access to information that very few people in the country would even know existed.”

Later in the interview, Hanna elaborated on why he felt Snowden’s actions were criminal.

”He took an oath to keep this secret, he had a responsibility. If he was concerned with this, he could have gone to his superiors…there are lots of agents in this country that don’t go around talking about what they know, simply because they know it.”

But he said it gives the country an opportunity to talk about the issues Snowden brought to light, and possibly reign-in government.

The number of search warrants has multiplied a thousand percent over the last few years, he said.

”Under the cloak of protecting us all and doing it for our own good, you can rationalize doing virtually anything to anybody,” Hanna said.

Full interview from WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning:

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