In a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll, most Americans say Edward Snowden should be prosecuted, but two-thirds don’t like the idea that the government is collecting their own communication records.
The poll shows a nation riven by cross-currents about the unauthorized disclosures from the former NSA contractor of sweeping surveillance programs that can collect information about millions of Americans and foreigners.
By 54%-38%, those surveyed say he should be prosecuted. Most Americans say the programs have helped prevent terrorist attacks, by 53%-41%, a point pressed by top administration officials including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
There is an almost even split on the most fundamental question. By 48%-47%, Americans divide over whether they approve or disapprove of the programs as part of the effort to fight terrorism. By another narrow margin, 49%-44%, they say the release of classified information serves rather than harms the public interest.
We have to get back to negotiation. A little has to come out of each person’s hide to resolve all these issues.
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Tomorrow, President Obama will give his fifth State of the Union Address.
What one word do you think best describe the current state of our union?