ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A highly anticipated new movie hits theaters this weekend about the life of Edward Snowden, a Maryland man who worked for the NSA and leaked classified documents. Now a prominent Maryland congressman is urging people not to see the movie.
He labels himself a whistle blower, but critics call him a traitor. The saga of Edward Snowden has captivated the world for the past three years. His story is now a Hollywood movie.
In 2013, the Maryland man and NSA contractor leaked thousands of pages of classified government documents to media. Snowden says he wanted to expose the government’s collection of U.S. citizens’ private information. He now lives in Russia in asylum, and faces espionage charges in the U.S.
“I don’t know what tomorrow looks like, but I’m glad for the decision I made,” Snowden said.
The movie follows Snowden, from a young Army recruit to a computer expert for the NSA.
A new report released this week by the House Intelligence Committee says Snowden was just a disgruntled employee, and is not a whistle blower. It says the majority of the documents he stole were military and defense secrets–nothing to do with Americans’ privacy.
The movie Snowden hits theaters across the country this weekend, and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger says Americans shouldn’t give Snowden any more publicity.
“That’s why I’m suggesting to people not to go to the movies, because I don’t want one of the biggest traitors in the country to be glorified,” said Ruppersberger.
Ruppersberger says Snowden’s disclosure harmed the U.S., especially in its fight against terrorism.
“It’s like giving the enemy what we do and all the private and classified information we have,” he said.
Both the movie and report come the same week that Snowden spoke about seeking presidential pardon. The White House says President Obama believes Snowden should return to the U.S. and face charges.
Earlier this year, the former U.S. attorney general said a plea deal with Snowden was a possibility.